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Predicting and ensuring the success of online students

29 August, 2019 | by Sue Kokonis

There has been a rapid growth in online students both in Australia and overseas as technology opens up education opportunities for students from all geographies and backgrounds.

With increasing numbers of Australian students opting to study online, it is vitally important that resources are available to ensure these students are afforded the same academic success and equal – if not higher – levels of support as on-campus students. In this context, providing students with self-awareness of their strengths and weaknesses has the potential to prepare them for the challenges and rigour of online learning.

The OES research team identified a gap in the literature for a standard valid measure to determine readiness for learning online. In response, the team is in the process of developing and validating a tool that can be used to predict online student success and provide students with support relevant to their needs. In addition, the tool can provide students with immediate, personalised, and actionable feedback to equip them to tackle their areas needing development before it impacts their studies.

Seven indicators to measure readiness

Early research findings by OES have identified seven main attributes students may need to succeed in the online environment. Seven indicators to measure student readiness for online learning:

  1. Academic self-efficacy
    Students who believe they can complete academic tasks in an online environment are more likely to succeed.
  1. Intrinsic value
    Those who enjoy what they are studying are more likely to persist and succeed.
  1. Relevance
    A student who believes the online degree is directly connected to their goals is more likely to persist and achieve in their field.
  1. Time management
    The autonomous nature of online learning makes a student’s ability to self-manage their schedules and workload crucial to success.
  1. Access to support
    The more support available to online students, whether real or perceived, is vital to student retention and success.
  1. Ease of use of learning
    Students who begin online learning believing the learning management system will be user-friendly are more likely to continue their studies.
  1. Persistence
    A successful student has the ability to maintain effort and interest while studying online.

OES is committed to pioneering research that will give students the tools they need to succeed in higher education. We will be publishing our full research findings in this area later this year

Learn more about how we can ensure successful outcomes for your online students. Get in touch today.