1 Capstone Project, Fall 2008 Group 2: Marsha Oels, Brandie Soar, Kathi Stewart, Sonya Thomas What variables do faculty associate with student success in online courses? Assessment presentation by Marsha Oels & Brandie Soar The purpose of this study was to determine what variables Arkansas Tech University faculty associate with undergraduate student success in online classes. The following variables were used as a guideline for developing questions within the survey: gender, age, GPA, class standing, living status, time of registration, health, support, expectation, resources, academic skills, technology skills, enrollment status, length of course, previous academic experience, and instructor interaction. Faculty were asked to rate each of the above variables on a scale from very associated to not associated or agree to disagree. The survey also included two open-ended questions, which allowed the participant an opportunity to list other associated variables that may not have been listed on the survey, as well as, an opportunity to add comments/suggestions regarding the survey. The instrument used was an online survey created via Questionpro.com. It was distributed through the Arkansas Tech University system to 90 faculty members who have taught an undergraduate online course no later than summer I We gave the faculty one week to respond. The survey questions were created from data that we acquired through our literature reviews and information that we acquired ourselves from being online students. The survey was short -- nineteen questions long -- and allowed participants to answer both simple check box preference and open-ended questions. Participants were assured anonymity. During the open time window, the online survey was visited 54 times; 32 respondents partially completed and 22 successfully completed the survey. This resulted in a completion rate of 24.04%. A copy of the survey appears as Appendix A.
2 In analyzing the survey responses, it was found that 100% of the respondents indicated that having good time management skills and a high level of motivation were the two most associated variables of online success. Other variables that were rated as being very associated by 80 99% of the respondents were having a realistic expectation, access to well-prepared instructional material for course, access to a home computer, seeking help when needed and having good comprehension, communication, critical thinking and organizational skills. Survey results indicated that faculty associate high GPA (3.00 and above), having access to compatible software, on-campus support, access to academic resources and computer skills were somewhat to very associated with student online success. Class standing, enrollment status, successful completion of previous online course, and completion of a pre-requisite course were also exhibited to be somewhat to very associated. It was somewhat agreed by 45% of faculty respondents that students who take an online course only because it is not offered in a face-to-face format are less likely to be successful. However, 71% agreed that the more interaction an instructor has with the online course, the more successful the students will be. When asked to rate their satisfaction with Blackboard in conducting online courses, 70% of the respondents were satisfied, 15% very satisfied and 15% dissatisfied. These survey results, presented in bar graph style, appear in Appendix B.
3 Appendix A Based on your experience, to what extent do you think the following variables are associated with a student's success in online courses? Student's Gender Being Male Being Female Student's Age yrs yrs and Above Student's Overall GPA 3.00 and Above Below 2.00 Student's Class Standing: Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
4 Student's living status: On-campus Off-campus Student's time of registration: Pre-registration Regular two-day registration (2 days prior to semester starting) Late Registration (after classes begin) Good Physical Health Good Mental Health Family Support On-campus Support Realistic expectation of online workload Access to well-prepared instructional material for course Access to home computer Access to academic resources Access to compatible software Student's level of academic skills: Good Time Management Skills High Level of Motivation Seeks Help When Needed Good Comprehension Skills Good Communication Skills Critical Thinking Skills Good Organizational Skills
5 Student's level of computer and internet skills: No Computer Skills Basic Computer Skills Expert Computer Skills Student's enrollment status: Full-time (12 or more hrs) 3/4 time (9-11 hrs) 1/2 time (6-8 hr) 1/4 time or less (1-5 hrs) Length of course: 15 week (fall or spring) 10 week (summer) 5 week (summer) Student's previous academic experience: Has successfully completed at least one online course. Has withdrawn from one or more online courses. Has successfully completed at least one prerequisite course. Do you feel that students who enrolled themselves in Blackboard are more successful than those in which the instructor enrolled the student in Blackboard? Agree Agree Neither Agree nor Disagree Slightly Disagree Disagree
6 Do you feel that students who use a laptop computer are more successful in online courses than students who use a desktop computer? Agree Agree Neither Agree nor Disagree Slightly Disagree Disagree Do you feel that students who take an online course only because it is not offered in a face-to-face format are less likely to be successful? Agree Agree Neither Agree nor Disagree Slightly Disagree Disagree Do you feel that the more interaction an instructor has with the online course, the more successful the students will be? Agree Agree Neither Agree nor Disagree Slightly Disagree Disagree How do you rate your satisfaction with Blackboard in conducting online courses? Satisfied Satisfied Neither Satisfied nor Dissatisfied Dissatisfied Dissatisfied
7 Please list any additional variables that you feel are associated with student's success in online courses not mentioned in the survey. Please feel free to add comments or suggestions that you might have regarding this survey. Please contact if you have any questions regarding this survey.
8 Appendix B to