How Does College Students’ Online Learning Behavior Impact Their Academic Performance

Although it is increasingly popular to lend one’s name and face as a surrogate student, recent research has uncovered that and more.
Results of an analysis published recently in the Journal of Higher Education found that online learning materials and learning management systems appeared to affect how students behaved, the rates of student enrollment, their retention, and the degree of academic success they were able to attain.

Research suggests that students who read online textbooks tend to perform better academically than students who do not read for pleasure online. What do these findings mean for college students and for the future of academia?

Whether reading for pleasure is learned online or in the classroom is really irrelevant.

If reading for pleasure is the result of attending college, are online textbooks to blame?

After all, is online learning assuming that students are not capable of reading for pleasure as well as the more traditional means of delivery? How is the demands on students in a digital environment associated with reading online? If reading online improves student performance, then should higher-education institutions invest in digital textbooks?

Are College Students To Blame For Textbook Failure?

It has been argued that students who study on their own in one of the free online learning environments are more likely to spend time in areas outside of their core courses, such as applications or science. If this is true, then it may be a legitimate concern if online learning helps students to “self-program” into the subject matter of their instructor. If this is a phenomenon of the online learning environment, then it may not be fair to compare online learning with the traditional classroom.

A case in point is the experience of young adults using Creative Commons. Students use Creative Commons, or CC, content to learn in a way that enhances their skills with printed content, or, in some cases, in the classroom through guided learning processes.

For example, a college student could learn by going over the instructions for a book that they are studying for English as a Second Language or by going over the citations for a particular book that they are studying for an introductory history course.

If students receive creative commons online instruction, they will then rely less on print materials, such as textbooks. Instead, those online resources can be connected to the reading materials of their instructor so that the content itself is part of the learning process.

The ability to go through all the notes a professor makes and then navigate back and forth to the readings would, in a sense, benefit students in the experience of learning how to identify and evaluate material and how to incorporate information in the course that the instructor has prepared.

This would enable students to learn not only about content but also how to analyze it. Therefore, while students studying for the Common Application or who have historically studied for the SAT test can benefit from this kind of non-traditional online instruction, they may also learn about a new method of analysis and evaluation, or learning ability, that is not available in the classroom.

It would be important to watch students reading online if we desire to understand what motivates them to engage in online learning and reading. The interest of students reading online would be explained by their initial motivation for studying online or books in a classroom.

If students are motivated by experience and through the fear of incorrect information that could cost them points, or in some cases, earn them a D, then online learning may not help to improve their learning environment. At a time when the majority of college students and many adults need professional development and professional skills, the target of non-traditional instruction should be the university itself and the college as an institution.

Not only is the institute of higher education the primary education provider for most Americans, but it is also the biggest employer of workers in the United States. Therefore, a skilled workforce is an imperative for higher education institutions to take seriously.

As Dr. Andrea Montante put it, “If there is to be a change in the way we engage with students, the academy will not be capable of sustaining itself if the undergraduates walk away in tears in the last week of the semester; who will take the first step in the effort to increase the amount of student learning and knowledge in the academic process?”

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