(Yen, Tuan, & Liao, 2010) report on a study finding web-based instruction better than classroom based teaching for scientific conceptual learning. They find motivation to learn the concept is still important in the web-based setting and point to motivation during and not just prior to learning with some suggestion that the novelty of web based instruction was in play here.
They suggest further qualitative research on how students’ prior web-based learning experiences influence their motivation during web-based learning.
Yen, H.-C., Tuan, H.-L., & Liao, C.-H. (2010). Investigating the Influence of Motivation on Students’ Conceptual Learning Outcomes in Web-based vs. Classroom-based Science Teaching Contexts. Research in Science Education.