Achievement Emotions of Medical Students: Do They Predict Self-regulated Learning and Burnout in an Online Learning Environment?

Zilu Wang, Binbin Zheng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Achievement emotions have been proven as important indicators of students’ academic performance in traditional classrooms and beyond. In the online learning contexts, previous studies have indicated that achievement emotions would affect students’ adoption of self-regulated learning strategies and further predict their learning outcomes. However, the pathway regarding how different positive and negative achievement emotions might affect students’ burnout through self-regulated learning among medical students in online learning environments remains unclear. In this study, the aim is to investigate how achievement emotions and self-regulated learning predict burnout among medical students in online education. Methods: This study involved 282 medical students who had attended online courses due to the sudden shift of learning mode caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2022. Confirmatory factor analysis was performed to examine the hypothesized factor structure, and structural equation modelling was conducted to test the hypothesized relationships among factors. Results: The results of structural equation modelling revealed that medical students’ self-efficacy positively predicted their enjoyment (β =.57) and online self-regulated learning (β =.54). Learning-related boredom inhibited students’ adoption of online self-regulated learning strategies (β = −.24), and it was positively associated with their burnout (β =.54). Learning-related anxiety was a positive predictor of online self-regulated learning (β =.38). Discussions: The results of this study suggest that achievement emotions experienced by medical students had a significant impact on their online self-regulated learning and burnout. Specifically, the experience of learning-related boredom was detrimental to the adoption of self-regulated learning strategies and increased the likelihood of burnout. However, learning-related anxiety, despite being a negative achievement emotion, was positively associated with students’ online self-regulated learning. These findings have important implications for online teaching and learning, particularly in the post-pandemic era.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2226888
JournalMedical Education Online
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Achievement emotions
  • learning-related anxiety
  • learning-related boredom
  • medical student burnout
  • self-regulation


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