School of Education


Doctor of Philosophy in Education (PhD)


Michelle Barthlow


nontraditional student, curriculum, curriculum design, biology course design, biology curriculum, online learning, student success


Biology | Education


The overall purpose of this study was to determine if there was a relationship between the biology curriculum design with student course satisfaction and the successful completion for nontraditional adult students. The current study was important in determining course curriculum format leading to nontraditional students’ successful course completion. The selected college is a small two-year community college in the southeast United States. This quantitative, predictive correlation study surveyed 85 nontraditional students’ satisfaction with the biology course curriculum format using the Online Course Satisfaction Scale. The survey data was correlated along with the type curriculum used in the course section (Open Educational Resources or publisher created content) and student course satisfaction to predict successful course completion using binary logistic regression. The results of the statistical analysis showed curriculum type and student course satisfaction were not significant predictors of successful completion. Based on the results gathered from this research, nontraditional students did not successfully complete the course significantly better with one type of curriculum compared to the other. This study points to the need for further research to determine what factors can contribute to greater successful completion for nontraditional students.