Faculty Mentor(s)

Advisor: Dr. Kelly Brown

Reader: Dr. Kim Humerickhouse

Project Type

EdD Colloquium - MidAmerica

Scholarship Domain(s)

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

Presentation Type

Other

Abstract

Adult students choose online courses for flexibility and convenience and educational institutions are providing more options to meet demand, but online courses have higher rates of attrition that can lead to lower retention. Low retention of students has consequences for students, colleges and universities, and society as a whole. The purpose of this research was to determine the relationship between learning preference, based on a multiple intelligences model, and choice of major, student satisfaction, and retention of adult students in a fully online degree program. A review of literature found that learning preference has been correlated with student performance in an online course, but not with student satisfaction. Little research exists that explores a connection between learning preference and retention. The researcher conducted quantitative correlational research and independent samples t-tests using archival data and survey results to identify learning preference, major, retention, and student satisfaction levels of 273 adult students in a fully online degree program. Data analysis did not identify statistically significant relationships between learning preference and major, or learning preference and retention; however, a statistically significant relationship was found between student satisfaction and retention. Conclusions imply the need for further research on differentiating instruction and how learning preferences influence retention of adult students in online courses.

Permission type

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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Mar 24th, 9:20 AM Mar 24th, 9:35 AM

The Impact of Learning Preferences on Retention of Adult Students in an Online Degree Program

MidAmerica

Adult students choose online courses for flexibility and convenience and educational institutions are providing more options to meet demand, but online courses have higher rates of attrition that can lead to lower retention. Low retention of students has consequences for students, colleges and universities, and society as a whole. The purpose of this research was to determine the relationship between learning preference, based on a multiple intelligences model, and choice of major, student satisfaction, and retention of adult students in a fully online degree program. A review of literature found that learning preference has been correlated with student performance in an online course, but not with student satisfaction. Little research exists that explores a connection between learning preference and retention. The researcher conducted quantitative correlational research and independent samples t-tests using archival data and survey results to identify learning preference, major, retention, and student satisfaction levels of 273 adult students in a fully online degree program. Data analysis did not identify statistically significant relationships between learning preference and major, or learning preference and retention; however, a statistically significant relationship was found between student satisfaction and retention. Conclusions imply the need for further research on differentiating instruction and how learning preferences influence retention of adult students in online courses.