Date of Award

2-2009

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Degree Program

Education (also CAGS)

First Advisor

Berger, Joseph B.

Second Advisor

Stoffolano, John G.

Third Advisor

Williams, Elizabeth A.

Keywords

Adult, Distance, Model, Online, Persistence, Retention, Online education, Adult students

Subject Categories

Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to investigate the factors that influence the persistence of adult students in online undergraduate courses at the community college level. Quantitative analysis of survey results from 476 students enrolled in on-line courses at two community colleges indicate that desire to complete the degree, previous experience in on-line courses and assignment completion are the strongest predictors of course completion. The findings from this research also provide the basis for making recommendations for future research and improving policy and practice. Finally, the results of this study suggest the basis for developing new models for understanding persistence in on-line courses.

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