You are here:

Goal Orientation and Academic Performance in Adult Distance Education ARTICLE

, , , , , Open University of the Netherlands

IRRODL Volume 19, Number 2, ISSN 1492-3831 Publisher: Athabasca University Press


Research has shown the importance of goal orientation in predicting academic performance for children, adolescents, and college students in traditional educational settings. Studies on this relationship within adult distance education, however, are lacking. To fill this gap, the present study was conducted to investigate the relationship between goal orientation and academic performance in adult distance learners. A sample of N=1128 distance university students (age 18-75 years) filled out an online questionnaire. Their exam grades were collected from the files of the Open University of the Netherlands (OUNL). A mixed model regression showed performance approach goal orientation to be a positive predictor of academic performance, whereas performance avoidance and work avoidance were negative predictors of academic performance. Non-significant results were found for mastery approach as well as for mastery avoidance. Implications of these results are discussed.


Neroni, J., Meijs, C., Leontjevas, R., Kirschner, P. & De Groot, R. (2018). Goal Orientation and Academic Performance in Adult Distance Education. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 19(2),. Athabasca University Press. Retrieved October 20, 2018 from .


View References & Citations Map


  1. Abd-El-Fattah, S.M., & Patrick, R.R. (2011). The relationship among achievement motivation
  2. Bernt, F.M., & Bugbee, A.C. (1993). Study practices and attitudes related to academic success in a distance learning programme. Distance Education, 14, 97–112.
  3. Dweck, C.S. (1986). Motivational processes affecting learning. American Psychologist, 41, 1040– 1048.
  4. Elliot, A.J., & Church, M.A. (1997). A hierarchical model of approach and avoidance achievement motivation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 72, 218–232.
  5. Field, A. (2009). Discovering statistics using SPSS. London: SAGE.
  6. Greene, B.A., Miller, R.B., Crowson, H.M., Duke, B.L., & Akey, K.L. (2004). Predicting high school

These references have been extracted automatically and may have some errors. If you see a mistake in the references above, please contact