Title page for ETD etd-04112007-171550


Type of Document Dissertation
Author Liu, Juhong Christie
Author's Email Address Christie.Liu@vt.edu
URN etd-04112007-171550
Title An Exploration of Factors Related to the Completion of Distance Education Coursework
Degree PhD
Department Curriculum and Instruction
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Lockee, Barbara B. Committee Co-Chair
Moore, David Michael Committee Co-Chair
Burton, John K. Committee Member
Doolittle, Peter E. Committee Member
Potter, Kenneth R. Committee Member
Saunders, William R. Committee Member
Keywords
  • coursework completion
  • online courses
  • Incomplete
Date of Defense 2007-04-04
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
With the fast growth of online education, factors influential to course completion need to be examined. Statistically, this study explored the relationship between five course status factors identified in the literature and the completion of previously incomplete online courses in a course-based approach. The five factors were about the curricular and completion status of an online course with an initially assigned "Incomplete" grade, including credit hours, required assignments, initially submitted assignments, initially earned points, and duration of incomplete status. The extent of coursework completion was measured by the subsequently completed assignments and subsequently earned points. Online courses (n = 933) offered with the 15 different course titles in an online graduate degree program and assigned an "Incomplete" grade in their registration terms between fall 2001 and fall 2005 were used as the units of data analysis. Multiple regression, logistic regression, descriptive statistics analyses, Chi-square tests, and independent t-tests were used for the statistical analysis. The results showed that there were significant differences (a = .05) in the required assignments, initially submitted assignments, initially earned points, and duration of incomplete status between the courses that were completed eventually and those that remained incomplete. According to the statistically significant results, the set of the five course status variables could explain 93.6% of the variance in the completion measured by the subsequently completed assignments and account for 87% of the variance in the completion measured by the subsequently earned points. The statistically significant results also indicated that the set of the five variables could be used to predict the probability of the coursework completion. Regarding the individual variables, the statistically significant results identified the required assignments and initially submitted assignments as the factors contributing to the explanation of the variance in the coursework completion measured by the subsequently completed assignments; the credit hours, required assignments, initially earned points, and duration of incomplete status as the factors contributing to the explanation of the variance in the coursework completion measured by the subsequently earned points. The required assignments and duration of incomplete status were identified as significant predictors of the completion.
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