Introductions: An Early Glimpse at Student Performance

Concurrent Session 5
Streamed Session

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Brief Abstract

Is the timeliness of student introductions a significant predictor of student success?  A recent research study within the School of General Education for an online university found some fascinating results pertaining to the timing of online students’ introduction posts.


Hi! I'm Leslie Johnson, Assistant Department Chair of Mathematics at Purdue University Global. I have taught a variety of math courses in traditional, blended, and online environments for over 20 years. I enjoy using my experience to help students and faculty overcome the challenges of an online environment by connecting with each other in innovative ways, using current technologies to enhance learning and communication. I earned my BS and MS in Pure Mathematics from Southeast Missouri State University.

Extended Abstract

As diversity in online learners continues to thrive, this highlights the importance of making sure outreach efforts meet the needs of these diverse learners. Learning management systems facilitate the monitoring of assignment completion and logins, but it is important to consider other facets of learners and the timeliness of outreach efforts within the term. Many online courses include an introduction at the outset of the term. This research explores the question "Is the timeliness of student introductions a significant predictor of student success?" This multi-method study used t-tests, ANOVA, and regression to explore the possible effects that student introductions might have on overall performance in a class. Results from a robust mixture of undergraduate courses at a large, online university provided evidence to suggest that the timeliness of introduction posts can provide significant insight into student performance in a class. In conclusion, these findings will allow instructors to refine their outreach efforts to include early considerations of possible at-risk students as well as modifications in the type of outreach provided.  From a research perspective, the findings from this study encourage the inclusion of introductions as part of a larger classification model to promote improved accuracy in at-risk detection and improved quality in the type of outreach efforts we provide for our students. 


During this session, attendees will:

  • Participate in a poll (so the presenters can “gauge” the room)

  • Learn what current literature is published on this topic via PPT.

  • Learn the details of the research study conducted by an online institution within the School of General Education via PPT and handout.

  • Learn the results of the research study via PPT and handout.

  • Share implication ideas and suggestions for further research on this topic.