School of Education
Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction (EdD)
nontraditional learners, persistence, self-determination theory, remediation, online learning, adult learning theory
Curriculum and Instruction
Walter, Jenny Marie, "The Second and Third-Year College Experiences of Online Nontraditional Adult Learners Following an Online Remedial English Course" (2023). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 4581.
The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study was to understand the experiences of nontraditional adult learners (NALs) in online education who persist after completing an online remedial English course. This study sought to answer the central question, “What is the motivation of NALs taking all online courses who persist to their second or third year of school after completing at least one remedial English course?” The theories that guided this study were Knowles’ (1977, 1980) theory on andragogy, Deci and Ryan’s (1985) self-determination theory, specifically, organismic integration theory and cognitive evaluation theory, and Tinto’s (1975) theory on attrition as there are relationships between motivation, commitment, and persistence. The central research question was “What are the motivations of NALs taking all online courses who persist to their second or third year of school after completing at least one remedial English course?” The participants in this study were from one university with a large online program; there were eleven total participants, five women and six men. Participants completed an intrinsic motivation inventory (IMI) and participated in an interview as well as an online forum. The IMI, interviews, and online forum posts were analyzed for common themes. The statements of each participant were coded with the aid of a computer-assisted qualitative data analysis software (CAQDAS), ATLAS.ti, looking for common themes and significant statements. Based on the experiences of the participants, four overall themes emerged: (a) purpose, (b) goals, (c) support, and (d) confidence.