Zahra Fakour Rashid1,*, Behzad Ghonsooly2, Afsaneh Ghanizadeh1
1 Department of English Language,Faculty of Human Sciences, Imam Reza International University, Mashhad, Iran
2 Department of English, Faculty of Letters and Humanities, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran
Introduction:Due to the current situation (coronavirus pandemic) as well as time and placerestrictions, the replacement of traditional classes with online courses is prevailing, andinstructors and learners rarely attend in a classroom. Thus, an unexpected immersion in virtuallearning revealed the advantages and disadvantages of virtual education. The present studyaimed to explore the merits and the demerits of the virtual master’s programsof English regarding students’perspectives on motivation and self-efficacy.Methodology:The researchers developed and validated an instrumentthat measured online students’self-efficacy and motivation toward virtual programs. Relying on the semi-structured interviews and open-endedquestions, the researchers developed a 21-item scale on a 5-point Likert scale. The designed scale was distributed among 151 students from four universities inMashhad, Iran. Exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis,as well as correlational analysis,wereperformed to answer the research questions. The SEM model was usedto explore the interrelationships among attitudes toward virtualprograms, self-efficacy, and motivation.Results:The obtained results indicate an acceptable level of reliability for the scale (0.82). The findings indicated that the independent variable,the virtual program of theuniversity,positively had a relationship with the dependent variables of the study, which were motivationand self-efficacy.Conclusion:Based on the findings, it can be concluded that virtual education still needs new expertise and more developed skills from educational designers and programmers to students and instructors.