Identifying university students’ online academic help-seeking patterns and their role in Internet self-efficacy

Yang Hsin Fan, Tzung Jin Lin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The main purposes of this study were, first, to identify Taiwanese university students’ online academic help-seeking (OAHS) patterns and further to compare their Internet self-efficacy (ISE) among the identified patterns. A total of 366 Taiwanese university students were invited to fill out two questionnaires to understand their OAHS and ISE, respectively. The results revealed that three OAHS patterns, adaptive, self-reliant, and socially-affiliated, were characterized based on the cluster analysis. The differences in the students’ various ISE dimensions among the three patterns were then compared. The adaptive students, who commonly adopted all types of OAHS behaviors, tended to be the most efficacious in the seven measured ISE dimensions. The self-reliant students, highlighting that they mainly sought help by searching for relevant information online, showed higher confidence in the ISE dimensions of “Usage,” “Application,” and “Learning” than did the socially-affiliated students (i.e., those who tended to use formal and informal queries to seek academic help online). The socially-affiliated students only showed higher confidence in sharing online information than the self-reliant students. However, in the “Communication,” “Verifying,” and “Metacognition” ISE dimensions, there were no significant differences between the socially-affiliated and self-reliant students.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100893
JournalInternet and Higher Education
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Jan


  • Internet self-efficacy
  • Online academic help-seeking
  • University students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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