Title

Student Success Factors in Two Online Introductory-Level Natural Resource Courses

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-2015

Departmental Paper Identifier

NRM-154

Abstract

Studies examining potential differences between face-to-face and online courses have been confounded by dissimilarities in student characteristics and their learning strategies used in each environment. In response, research has shifted to determining which intrinsic qualities and learning approaches promote academic success online. The Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ) was used to evaluate the interplay between motivation, expectation, affectation, and learning self-regulation abilities and their potential influences on course performance and effort in two online introductory undergraduate wildlife and fisheries sciences courses. Surprisingly, motivation, expectation, affectation, and self-regulation were often negatively related to course performance but positively related to time spent on the course. Further, motivation, expectancy, and affectation were positively related to self-regulation. Such results appear confounding given that effort and the ability to self-regulate learning are often discussed as important factors to academic success, particularly in the online environment. Perhaps students are not spending time on the appropriate learning strategies for that environment or are over reporting their perceived abilities to self regulate. Overall, this study highlights the complex interplay between intrinsic student factors, learning strategies, and academic success, and further research is needed to better facilitate online learning.

Publication Title

Natural Sciences Education

Volume

44

Issue

1

First Page

51

Last Page

59

DOI of Published Version

10.4195/nse2014.12.0029

Publisher

American Society of Agronomy