Impacting Student Satisfaction, Engagement and Motivation in Online and Traditional Classrooms

Document Type


Publication Date

June 2016

Publication Title

66th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association


With improvements in technology and a growing demand to offer more flexible classes, online courses have become common practice in higher education. In light of the importance of satisfaction, engagement, and motivation we examined these three concepts as critical to an effective classroom regardless of the classroom’s platform. Results of our analyses indicate that only perceived classroom interaction was a statistically significant predictor of engagement, satisfaction, and motivation for both online and in-person courses. While perceived classroom interaction and instructor rapport were predictors of satisfaction in both course formats, student study habits played a role in explaining satisfaction for students in online courses and instructor credibility additionally predicted satisfaction for in-person courses. The findings of this study suggest that the technology might be less important than the interaction that is achieved in a course.

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