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ERIC Number: ED556535
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 156
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3036-5783-2
The Implications of Learners' Goal Orientation in a Prior Learning Assessment Program
McClintock, Patricia
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Northcentral University
This mixed methods sequential explanatory study was designed to investigate students' persistence in an online Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) Program by researching the implications of goal orientation and other academic, institutional, and student-related factors of non-traditional students enrolled in such a program at the University of St. Francis in Joliet, Illinois. Selected goal orientation and internal and external variables to the PLA program served as predictors to participants' persistence and/or non-persistence in the program. The dependent (criterion) variables were identified as student perceived achievement and student satisfaction. The purpose of this study was to obtain quantitative results from surveying 429 current and former PLA participants and then following up with eight purposeful selected respondents to examine those results more carefully to explore participants' persistence in a PLA program. Results were analyzed in terms of goal orientation, academic, institutional, and student-related data necessary for success. A mixed methodology approach was used to analyze the data, quantitatively through univariate and multivariate procedures, cross tabulation, frequency counts, and discriminant function analysis, and qualitatively, with a multiple case study approach, through coded themes. In the first, quantitative phase, five external and internal to the program factors were found to be predictors to students' persistence in the program: "learning goal orientation (avoid)", "learning goal orientation", "advisor experience", "online learning environment", and "program" ( p = 0.000). In the subsequent qualitative multiple case study analysis four major themes emerged: (1) advisor experience; (2) learning goal orientation; (3) academic support; and (4) online learning environment. Recommendations for practice include an initial needs analysis assessment to ascertain qualifications for PLA and training in counseling and coaching that could aid learners in reducing the anxiety and apprehension common to PLA participants. Additionally, strategies to consider would be to encourage PLA students to be very goal-oriented, work closely with a PLA advisor, and encourage policy makers to offer more PLA programs online. Future research should include further refinement of the adapted Vandewalle instrument, including more factor analysis specific to reporting external and internal factors of PLA persistence. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois