A non-experimental investigation on the impact of gender, academic skills and computer skills on online course completion rates
Constance D. Blanson, Capella University, United States
Capella University . Awarded
Online students represent a growing majority of individuals who complete their academic studies via the use of a distance education. However, with so many distance learners not completing their online courses, identifying the factors that influence online course completion has became a widespread initiative within institutions of higher learning that offer a distance education. This quantitative, non-experimental research study examined online course completion, its relationship with gender and the self-reported academic and computer skills a distance learner used to complete an online course. This research study assumed there was a relationship between online course completion, gender and the self-reported academic and computer skills a distance learner used to complete an online course; and investigated this possible relationship through the use of an online survey distributed to male and female distance learners enrolled in an distance learning business course at ABC University (The University) during the fall 2012 semester. In order to control investigator biases and minimize any risk that the student would feel pressured to participate, no distance learners enrolled in the researcher's distance-learning courses were invited to participate in the research study. An e-mail containing a link to the documented informed consent forms were sent to distance learners. The informed consent forms contained a link to the online surveys, and by clicking on the link the distance learner agreed that they had read the information regarding the risks and benefits of the research study and were aware of what action was being requested from them. The online surveys collected data relating to demographic factors, such as the online student's gender, and used a five-point Likert scale to measure their self-reported academic and computer skills. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics, t-test and ANOVA. Cronbach's alpha was used to test the reliability of the two scales, academic and computer skills.
Blanson, C.D. A non-experimental investigation on the impact of gender, academic skills and computer skills on online course completion rates. Ph.D. thesis, Capella University.
Citation reproduced with permission of ProQuest LLC.
For copies of dissertations and theses: (800) 521-0600/(734) 761-4700 or https://dissexpress.umi.com