School of Education


Doctor of Philosophy in Education (PhD)


Nathan Putney


Community College, Developmental, Embedded Orientation, Mathematics, Online, Self-regulated Learning


Higher Education | Online and Distance Education


Students in developmental mathematics courses exhibit poor pass rates. This problem is exaggerated for traditionally aged online community college learners, who frequently demonstrate few self-regulatory skills. Self-regulated learners are intrinsically motivated, plan for success, monitor their progress, and reflect on their learning. These learners are significantly more likely to pass and eventually graduate. Self-regulatory skills can be taught through direct instruction and reflection over a protracted learning experience. This form of instruction was attempted using an embedded orientation in online developmental mathematics courses at a community college. Embedded orientations provide consistent training, opportunities for socialization, and increased instructor-to-learner interaction within a content course. Through a 16-week embedded orientation program, students received technical and metacognitive training designed to improve their academic performance. A comparison of online students’ final numerical grades between those participating in the orientation and a control group without the orientation determined the orientation had no significant effect. Further analysis revealed the orientation had no significant influence on final grades for traditional and non-traditional students.