Nancy Kegelman

Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

Ed.D. Educational Leadership


Educational Leadership


College of Education


Campbell, Robert


Education, Higher--Web-based instruction; Academic achievement


Community College Education Administration


Over five and a half million students in higher education were taking online classes in fall 2009. The annual growth rate (21%) in online enrollments from 2002 to 2009 far exceeded the enrollment growth (2%) in higher education for that seven year period (Allen & Seaman, 2010). Continued rapid growth in online enrollments is predicted despite students' significantly lower success rate in online classes than in face-to-face classes. This action research study was conducted to correlate student characteristics with online success in one community college. The researcher also examined the researcher's leadership growth and style through the design, development, and implementation of the research project. This study utilized quantitative data obtained from online students' self-perceptions of their skills and behaviors via an electronic survey and self-reflection. Pearson correlation coefficients were calculated between student self perceptions of their: self regulation, computer skills, independent learning; need for asynchronous delivery; academic skills and the student's grade point average. None were statistically significant. There was, however, a moderate correlation between the number of online classes a student took during the semester, and her online performance. The study suggests students who are new to the online learning environment are unaware of their additional responsibilities and would be well served by an orientation to the additional expectations of online students.