Event: Undergraduate Research Symposium
Date: May 18, 2019
Location: UCI Student Center
Presenters: Emaan Ahmed, Demetrius Foster, Donghua Wu
Mentors: Jacquelynne Eccles, Mark Warschauer, Qiujie Li, Peter McPartlan, Osman Umarji
Title: Obstacles Students Face in Online Courses
Students in online courses may not perform as well as their peers in face-to-face classes. This could be due to a variety of factors. One factor that has been identified as central to success in online courses is the ability to self-regulate one’s learning. This study aimed to identify the challenges that students enrolled in online courses face, and what self-regulation strategies they implemented to overcome them. In order to gather this information, we asked students in an online course to identify what obstacles they were facing and how they would overcome them, every day for one week using a daily diary approach. We found that many students were struggling with similar obstacles and identified the common themes in their responses. Through qualitative coding, students’ responses were divided into five categories for struggles, and eight strategies used to overcome them. We then used a Chi-squared test to examine the relations between students’ obstacles and the strategies students used to overcome them. Some of the recurring pairs between obstacles and strategies included taking a break if feeling lazy or tired, removing technology if it was causing a distraction, and prioritizing commitments if there were too many. These results are valuable in improving student achievement in online courses through understanding the challenges that students face and identifying adaptive self-regulation strategies in the pursuit of learning.
Presenters Demetrius Foster, Donghua (Tracy) Wu, & Emaan Ahmed; PhD Mentors Osman Umarji & Peter McParlan