Exploring factors impacting student engagement in open access courses: Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning: Vol 34, No 2
peter.suber's bookmarks 2019-05-26
Abstract: Studies on student engagement in learning have mainly focused on undergraduate degree courses. Limited attempts have been made to examine student engagement on open access enabling courses, which is targeted to underrepresented students in higher education. Students on open access enabling courses are at high risk due to a low academic achievement in high school, the gap between schooling, work and post-secondary education, and different kinds of personal and academic barriers. This paper reports on a pilot quantitative study using a survey method undertaken at an Australian university. The study examined a range of issues related to student engagement, including learning barriers, engagement and experience in learning, skills attained, motivation to complete study, career pathway, and key reasons for selecting a particular pathway. The study found that online students are less engaged in learning and, therefore, efforts need to be made to improve their sense of belonging to the university. The findings of the study are critical due to high attrition on open access enabling courses and it argues the need to improve the engagement, retention, and success of students on such courses.