External Factors Explaining Students’ Persistence in Online Courses in Higher Education: A Study Among Two French-Speaking Universities in Canada
Keywords:persistence, online courses, external factors
The aim of this study was to verify if external factors influence persistence in online courses in higher education. These external factors, borrowed from Kember’s (1995) model, included some students’ characteristics; cost benefits; social integration of adult students (enrolment encouragement, study encouragement, and family support); and external attribution (insufficient time, events hindering study, and distractions). Data were collected among a sample of 835 students from two Canadian French-Speaking Universities (n1 = 468 from University One and n2 = 367 from University Two) using an online questionnaire. The questionnaire included items borrowed from The Distance Education Student Progress (DESP) inventory (Kember et al., 1992). The multiple linear hierarchical regression analysis revealed that students’ characteristics and some of the external factors had an effect on students’ persistence in online courses and that the most important factor in predicting students’ persistence is cost benefits. These analyses were also conducted by university, gender, and age groups. Except for cost benefits, the results indicated different patterns of strength and significant relationships between groups.
Copyright (c) 2021 Sawsen Lakhal, Géraldine Heilporn, Hager Khechine
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