Predictors for students’ self-efficacy in online collaborative groupwork

  • Jianxia Du
  • Xitao Fan
  • Jianzhong Xu
  • Chuang WangEmail author
  • Li Sun
  • Fangtong Liu
Research Article


This study examines factors related to student self-efficacy beliefs in on-line groupwork. Participants in this study were 204 graduate students taking an online graduate-level course from a public university in the Southeast United States of America. Two-level hierarchical linear models were used to examine predictors of the students’ self-efficacy. Three student-level variables were found to be related to groupwork self-efficacy: individual’s willingness to handle groupwork challenge, trust relationship, and leadership influence. At the group level, the group’s willingness to handle groupwork challenge was positively related to individual student’s groupwork self-efficacy. Discussions of the findings suggest that leadership is important for groupwork. Instructors of online courses are recommended to design high-quality group projects that are purposeful, meaningful, challenging, and engaging. Communications between group members are also recommended to build trust. Implications of the findings to online learning and instruction as well as directions for future research are presented.


On-line groupwork Self-efficacy Technology and media use Willingness to handle challenges Leadership Trust relationship 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Association for Educational Communications and Technology 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EducationEast China Normal UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.School of Humanities and Social ScienceChinese University of Hong KongShenzhenChina
  3. 3.Mississippi State UniversityStarkvilleUSA
  4. 4.Xi’an Jiaotong UniversityXi’anChina
  5. 5.University of MacauMacauChina

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