The Relationship of Flow Experience, Need Satisfaction, Perceptual Learning Style Preferences, and EFL Self-Efficacy to EFL Online Learner Satisfaction
Chen, Po Hsuan
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To respond to market demand, many universities in Taiwan offer online English courses. The literature indicates that students' satisfaction with online learning is a predictor of course dropout rate and intention to enroll in future online courses. This study identified factors that influence EFL online learner satisfaction, including flow experience, need satisfaction, perceptual learning style preferences, and EFL self-efficacy, and determined whether flow experience serves as a mediator between online learner satisfaction and need satisfaction, perceptual learning style preferences, and EFL self-efficacy. A total of 498 students at a university in Taiwan completed a questionnaire that consisted of Flow Experience Scale, Need Satisfaction Scale, Perceptual Learning Style Preference Questionnaire, EFL Self-Efficacy Scale, and Online Learner Satisfaction Questionnaire. Simple and multiple regression were employed in the analysis. Results indicated that (a) participants' flow experience had a positive effect on EFL online learner satisfaction, (b) participants with the highest levels of EFL online learner satisfaction tended to have high levels of at least one of the following characteristics: competence, autonomy, or relatedness need satisfaction; (c) participants with the highest levels of EFL online learner satisfaction also tended to have high levels of at least one of the following characteristics: group, individual, auditory, visual, or tactile learning style preference; (d) participants with high levels of listening or reading self-efficacy were more likely to have high levels of EFL online learner satisfaction; (e) flow experience and need satisfaction appear to be more important than are learning styles and language self-efficacy in determining EFL online learner satisfaction; and (f) flow experience is a partial mediator of five links: autonomy and EFL online learner satisfaction, competence and EFL online learner satisfaction, relatedness and EFL online learner satisfaction, auditory preference and EFL online learner satisfaction, and listening self-efficacy and EFL online learner satisfaction. Suggestions for future research were presented including the need to examine the robustness of the results by employing random sampling, conducting longitudinal research, and examining other affective factors. Finally, implications of the findings for instruction in terms of flow, need satisfaction, learning style preferences, and EFL self-efficacy were provided.