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Student Approaches to Learning in Relation to Online Course Completion

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Canadian Journal of Higher Education Volume 43, Number 3, ISSN 0316-1218


This study investigates the relationship between approaches to studying and course completion in two online preparatory university courses in mathematics and computer programming. The students participating in the two courses are alike in age, gender, and approaches to learning. Four hundred and ninety-three students participating in these courses answered the short version of the Approaches and Study Skills Inventory for Students (ASSIST). Results show that students demonstrating a deep approach to learning in either course are more likely to complete. In the mathematics course, a combination of deep and strategic approaches correlates positively with course completion. In the programming course, students who demonstrate a surface approach are less likely to complete. These results are in line with the intentions of the course designers, but they also suggest ways to improve these courses. Furthermore, the study demonstrates that ASSIST can be used to evaluate course design.


Balter, O., Cleveland-Innes, M., Pettersson, K., Scheja, M. & Svedin, M. (2013). Student Approaches to Learning in Relation to Online Course Completion. Canadian Journal of Higher Education, 43(3), 1-18. Retrieved October 18, 2019 from .

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