Pre-entry characteristics: A study in the use of an Internet-based self-assessment survey for predicting persistence in adult online education
Douglas B. Cross, Capella University, United States
Capella University . Awarded
Distance education, using online course rooms, has been seen as a cost-effective investment in education by many academic administrations. The use of Internet-based surveys to assess potential online students has been used to provide students with advice as to appropriateness of the online modality. However, none of the extant surveys have an empirical foundation. This study evaluated pre-entry characteristics of potential online students through the use of a readiness survey to determine if there is a valid profile which can be a statistically significant predictor of course persistence. A pool of 100 questions gathered from existing readiness surveys was evaluated by a panel of experts to determine 40 questions to assess (a) technical knowledge, (b) reading as a preferred modality, (c) social needs, and (d) self-discipline. Students from three community colleges participated in the study by replying to an Internet-based survey which provided a total assessment score and scores for each of the four scales. Students' persistence was assessed at weeks 1, 4, 7, and 10. A single-tailed t test and ANOVA determined if a significant difference occurred between the scores of the students who persisted and those who withdrew.
Cross, D.B. Pre-entry characteristics: A study in the use of an Internet-based self-assessment survey for predicting persistence in adult online education. Ph.D. thesis, Capella University.
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