Factors Mediating the Link Between Engagement and Satisfaction Among Online English-Mediated Instruction Learners During COVID-19





English-mediated instruction (EMI), Engagement, Instructional strategy, Online learning, Satisfaction


The COVID-19 pandemic forced universities worldwide to make the switch to online instruction, raising concerns about the quality of online courses and their impact on student satisfaction and engagement. This study aimed to explore Korean university students’ satisfaction levels with online English-mediated instruction (EMI) courses during the pandemic and identify factors that influence class satisfaction. The purpose of this study was to provide insights into how EMI instructors could improve their online teaching practices during and after a pandemic. The hypothesis was that instructional strategies (IS), academic conscientiousness (AC), and academic integration (AI) could mediate the link between engagement and satisfaction. The study used a survey design to collect data from 219 Korean university students who took online EMI courses during the spring 2020 semester. The survey collected demographic information as well as students’ perceptions of valuable IS, AC, AI, and satisfaction. Data analysis included independent samples t-test, correlation analysis, Structural Equation Modelling (SEM), and multiple regression analysis. The results showed IS use and satisfaction differed among disciplines. Specifically, there were significant differences in satisfaction levels between Arts, STEM, Business, Social Sciences, and Literature and Languages majors. Additionally, there were significant relationships between demographics, AC, AI, IS use, and satisfaction. SEM was used to provide a general view of factors mediating the link between engagement and satisfaction. The results revealed that AC, AI, and IS use mediated the link between engagement and satisfaction. Multiple regression analysis showed that students were more satisfied with instructors who demonstrated care and warmth using social networking sites to communicate. Overall, this study provides valuable insights into student satisfaction with online EMI courses during the COVID-19 pandemic and for the future of online EMI teaching-learning. The findings suggest that online EMI instructors should consider using social networking sites to communicate with students in order to increase satisfaction levels. Additionally, instructors should be aware that different disciplines may require different instructional strategies to maximize student engagement and satisfaction.

Author Biographies

Yvette Denise Murdoch, Hongik University, Republic of Korea

Yvette Denise Murdoch is an associate professor in the College of Education, Department of English Education at Hongik University, ROK. She has a professional interest in contributing to the betterment of the EMI environment and a special concern for preparing pre-service English teachers for their future profession. She is author of several academic papers related to current issues in EMI and education in higher education.

Yu-Hsuan Lin, The Catholic University of Korea, Republic of Korea

Yu-Hsuan Lin is an associate professor in the Department of Economics at the Catholic University of Korea. His research interests include innovative teaching approaches and higher education reform. He develops a hybrid teaching approach that consists of flipped learning, project-based learning, and classroom experiments.



10 Jul 2023