Vol. 22 No. 3 (2008)
Research Articles

Motivation and Cognitive Strategies in the Choice to Attend Lectures or Watch them Online

John N. Bassili
University of Toronto
Published August 16, 2008
  • e-learning,
  • media choice,
  • streaming


This study explored relations between students' motivational and cognitive orientations as assessed by the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ), and their attitudes and choices relating to online lecture viewing. Examination performance was also assessed to determine if there were particular affinities between certain motivational or cognitive orientations and success in learning by attending lectures or watching them online. The results of regression analyses revealed that students who considered the course interesting and important and who were motivated extrinsically to do well in it, expressed particularly positive attitudes towards the option to watch lectures online. Students who did not particularly want to learn in interaction with their peers, and who were not inclined to monitor their learning, were particularly likely to watch lectures online rather than to attend them in class. The results suggest that attitudes towards the option to watch lectures by streaming video are related to students' motivational orientations whereas the actual choice to attend lectures or watch them online is related to their cognitive strategies. The extent to which students attended lectures or watched them online was not related to examination performance either alone or in interaction with any motivational orientation or cognitive strategy.