Paper Type

Doctoral Dissertation


College of Education and Human Services

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)



NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Leadership, School Counseling & Sports Management

First Advisor

Dr. Katherine M. Kasten

Second Advisor

Dr. Larry G. Daniel

Third Advisor

Dr. Terence W. Cavanaugh

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Jeffrey W. Coker

Department Chair

Dr. Jennifer J. Kane

College Dean

Dr. Larry G. Daniel



This study was designed to determine the relationship between identified student characteristics and readiness factors and measures of success in selected online courses as defined by final course grades. This study focused on two sets of variables. The first was regarding the relationship of student demographic and educational background factors such as age, gender, academic placement, educational level, enrollment status, grade point average, withdrawal history, and previous online course experience to success in online courses. The second was regarding the relationship of learning readiness factors of personal attributes, learning style, life factors, technical competency, technical knowledge, and reading rate to success in online courses.

The study analyzed data regarding students at a state college enrolled in online courses during a single term. Archival data from the readiness assessment SmarterMeasure Learning Readiness Indicator (previously named READI) results as well as demographic, end of course grades, and educational background data from available student records were collected for students registered in the selected sample sections. The SmarterMeasure Learning Readiness Indicator is a web-based, 122-item assessment intended to measure a learner’s readiness for success in an online learning environment.

The statistical techniques of correlation and multiple regression analysis were used to analyze the relationship between the dependent variable of final course grade and the independent variables of student characteristics and readiness and to determine the predictive nature of the independent variables.

The findings of this study indicate that the age, academic placement, and GPA of students taking online courses may have a statistically significant relationship to their final grade and so success in their courses. These findings regarding demographic and educational background variables suggest that a more mature, non-traditional student who has a higher GPA and did not place into remedial mathematics or English may have a stronger opportunity for success in the online environment. The findings regarding the second set of variables indicated that scores for students on the assessment scales of personal attributes, reading, technical knowledge and competency, and life factors also might have a relationship to their final grade in their online course. Although the predictive relationships were not strong, the findings regarding the assessment variables suggest that students who are better equipped and prepared in the readiness factors assessed may have slightly higher grades as well.