University students' self-efficacy and their attitudes toward the Internet: The role of students' perceptions of the Internet

Hsinyi Peng, Chin Chung Tsai, Ying Tien Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

126 Citations (Scopus)


The attitudes and the self-efficacy that characterize learners relative to the Internet have been identified as important factors that affect learners motivation, interests and performance in Internetbased learning environments. Meanwhile, learners perceptions of the Internet may shape learners attitudes and online behaviours. This study investigates university students attitudes and selfefficacy towards the Internet, and explores the role that university students perceptions of the Internet may play in their Internet attitudes and selfefficacy. The results indicate that university students demonstrate positive attitudes and adequate Internet selfefficacy and that these students are more inclined to view the Internet as a functional tool - a functional technology. Gender differences exist in university students attitudes towards, and perceptions of, the Internet; that is, male students demonstrate Internet attitudes that are more positive than those of their female peers. Furthermore, students who perceive the Internet as a leisure tool (e.g. as a tour or a toy) show more positive attitudes and communicative selfefficacy than students who use the Internet as a functional technology. Educators and researchers need to be aware of these differences and to take them into consideration in their instruction. Lastly, this study serves as a startingpoint for research that more broadly explores learners perceptions of the Internet.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-86
Number of pages14
JournalEducational Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Mar
Externally publishedYes


  • Internet attitude
  • Internet perceptions
  • Internetbased instruction
  • Selfefficacy
  • Taiwan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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