In search of factors that influence academic success: a comparison between on-campus and distance students

Burton, Lorelle J. and Dowling, David (2010) In search of factors that influence academic success: a comparison between on-campus and distance students. In: AaeE 2010: Past, Present, Future - the 'Keys' to Engineering Education Research and Practice, 5-8 Dec 2010, Sydney, Australia.

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Abstract

This study examines the key predictors of academic success for both distance and on-campus engineering students at an Australian regional university. An online survey was used in 2006 to measure individual differences in personality, spatial abilities, and learning approaches. A total of 287 students (92 on-campus and 195 distance students) are participating in the longitudinal study, and their progress is being tracked through to graduation or departure from the university. This paper reports on a preliminary analysis of the predictive relationships between spatial abilities, personality, learning approaches, and academic success in first year for on-campus and distance cohorts. As expected, previous academic achievement is a key factor in predicting academic success for first year, on-campus students. Personality traits also contribute to the prediction of academic success for on-campus students - Extraversion is a negative predictor and Conscientiousness a positive predictor. In contrast, previous academic achievement is not relevant to the prediction of academic success for distance students. The three learning approaches, combined with Conscientiousness, significantly positively predict first year academic success for distance students. Surprisingly only one of the three spatial ability traits, Spatial Scanning, correlated with academic success, and then only for the on-campus student cohort. It did not add to the prediction of academic success for either cohort. Further research is warranted.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Depositing User: Prof David Dowling
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Psychology
Date Deposited: 18 Apr 2011 03:12
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2013 00:26
Uncontrolled Keywords: academic success; success factors in higher education; distance education
Fields of Research (FOR2008): 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170103 Educational Psychology
13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130103 Higher Education
13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130212 Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO2008): C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930101 Learner and Learning Achievement
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/18171

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