About this paper

Appears in:
Page: 2439 (abstract only)
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-617-5895-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2016.1528

Conference name: 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2016
Location: Seville, Spain

THE IMPACT OF LEARNING RESOURCE CENTER SERVICES ON PERSISTENCE IN ONLINE GRADUATE STUDENTS

T. Lehan, H. Hussey

Northcentral University (UNITED STATES)
Student enrollment in online higher education continues to grow (Britto & Rush, 2013). However, higher failure and dropout rates have been associated with students at online universities as compared to those at brick-and-mortar institutions (Britto & Rush, 2013). According to Hart (2012), students who are further along in their program, have higher GPAs, and feel a sense of connectedness are more likely to persist in their online program. Brick-and-mortar institutions are more likely to have math and writing tutoring centers than online institutions; however, the inability of online students to seek help from faculty members in their specific program or discipline has led online institutions to develop additional specialized services for students (Felder-Strauss et al., 2015). Regardless of institution type, learning resource centers (LRCs) may offer support services that provide students with opportunities to engage with their course curriculum with different media, relearn concepts, and ask for further explanations (Fullmer, 2012). However, these centers appear to be experiencing an “identity crisis” (Truschel & Reedy, 2009). The literature is mixed in regards to what LRCs do and how they function to best support students (Truschel & Reedy, 2009). This is of particular concern in a time when such supports are needed most (Britto & Rush, 2013).

The purpose was to compare the persistence of randomly selected online graduate students who utilized services at a learning resource center (LRC) to students in the same course with the same faculty member at the same time who did not utilize these services to understand the relationship between LRC service utilization and academic outcomes. A quantitative methodology and causal-comparative design were employed. The resulting dataset included 320 students (160 students who visited the LRC and 160 matched students who did not).

Preliminary findings showed that no significant differences existed between the LRC and matched samples in terms of age, months since enrollment, sex, grade in previous course, grade in next course, GPA at data collection, or GPA at 6-month follow up. However, there was a significant difference in terms of grade in the course at data collection (p = .002), with students visiting the LRC being significantly more likely to pass the course they were in at the time (i.e., earn a grade of A, B, C, or S as opposed to a grade of F or U or dropping or withdrawing from the course) than those who did not. Only months since enrollment (p = .002), GPA at data collection (p < .001), GPA at 6-month follow up (p <.001), and LRC contact (yes/no) (p = .04) were found to be significantly related to persistence in bivariate analyses.

For the main analysis, a logistic regression was run. For this analysis, there were two levels of the outcome variable (persistence):
(1) enrolled in subsequent courses and remained vested through 6-month follow up or
(2) did not enroll in next courses and remain vested through 6-month follow up due to withdrawal or dismissal.

Due to the very high correlation between GPA at data collection and GPA at 6-month follow up, only GPA at data collection was entered into the logistic regression model with months since enrollment and LRC contact. Results showed that the overall model was significant, with both GPA at data collection and LRC contact having a significant relationship with persistence after controlling for the other variables.
@InProceedings{LEHAN2016IMP,
author = {Lehan, T. and Hussey, H.},
title = {THE IMPACT OF LEARNING RESOURCE CENTER SERVICES ON PERSISTENCE IN ONLINE GRADUATE STUDENTS},
series = {9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2016 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-5895-1},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2016.1528},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2016.1528},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {14-16 November, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {2439}}
TY - CONF
AU - T. Lehan AU - H. Hussey
TI - THE IMPACT OF LEARNING RESOURCE CENTER SERVICES ON PERSISTENCE IN ONLINE GRADUATE STUDENTS
SN - 978-84-617-5895-1/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2016.1528
PY - 2016
Y1 - 14-16 November, 2016
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2016 Proceedings
SP - 2439
EP - 2439
ER -
T. Lehan, H. Hussey (2016) THE IMPACT OF LEARNING RESOURCE CENTER SERVICES ON PERSISTENCE IN ONLINE GRADUATE STUDENTS, ICERI2016 Proceedings, p. 2439.
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