Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Secondary At-Risk Students' Online Course Self-Confidence Levels: An Exploratory Study
by Dennison, Shane D., Ph.D., Northcentral University, 2012, 195; 3506698
Abstract (Summary)

Many high school seniors are either not graduating on time or not graduating at all. A computer-based course recovery program could help many struggling districts in this area of need. This study employed a non-experimental quantitative approach to address possible relationships between computer-based instruction and learning outcomes. The sample (N=59) included at-risk students (ages 15-18), randomly selected from the largest high school within the sponsoring district of Saginaw, Michigan. Participants were administered a pre-survey prior to course enrollment to measure self-efficacy/motivational levels with regard to academics in general, as well as perceived success they would have in the computer-based course. Following the completed computer-based course the same post-test survey tool was given to compare pre-survey results as well as an ancillary questionnaire. Quantitative data was analyzed through the administration of one-sample nonparametric tests and linear regression models (ANOVA). In general, through ANOVA analysis all 6 MSLQ dependent variables revealed no observed significance levels below the statistically significant level of .05. The act of taking an online course could not successfully predict an increase in at-risk student self-confidence for learning and grade or completion performance outcomes. Significant differences were shown to exist in respect to demographic group's part of this study. The ANOVA tests in regard to the construct of task value revealed that age groups differences revealed a p = .048, which did indicate statistical significance. Furthermore, testing in regard to intrinsic goal orientation and gender differences showed a p = .025, while additional analysis disclosed a significance level of p = .017 when comparing self-efficacy for learning and performance amongst the three grade levels studied.

Recommendations include that both educators and online course content providers make more efforts to have courseware presented in a higher interest manner to this age group, increase male intrinsic goal orientation, and contribute to increasing underclassmen's self-efficacy for learning and performance in relation to online education. Future research should consider incorporating a larger sample size, conducting the study in a cross district capacity at both suburban and urban districts, and the inclusion of qualitative questions and/or open response questions within the study apparatus.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Koss, Cathie
School: Northcentral University
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 73/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Secondary education, Educational technology
Keywords: At risk, Credit recovery, Gender differences, Online, Online versus traditional, Self-confidence, Self-efficacy
Publication Number: 3506698
ISBN: 9781267307262
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