Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Higher and Adult Education


Higher Education

Committee Chair

Barbara Mullins Nelson

Committee Member

Katrina A. Meyer

Committee Member

Jeffery L Wilson


This study investigates the attrition in online courses at two-year colleges in the state of Arkansas. For the purpose of this study, the Survey of Barriers for Online Learning was disseminated to a sample of 283 students from four 2-year colleges in the central area of Arkansas during 2013. Three research questions were the driving catalyst for the study. First, what are the perceptions of students regarding the pedagogical, managerial, social, and technical barriers to online learning? Second, do all student respondents and respondent subgroups perceive the four kinds of barriers to online learning (pedagogical, managerial, social, and technical) to be equally difficult? Lastly, to what extent do the demographic characteristics of students, student status variables, and student perceptions of four types of barrier predict attrition rate? This study utilized a combination of repeated measures analysis of variance, hierarchical regression, and step-wise regression on demographic, student success, and student barrier variables to predict online course attrition rate. Results indicated that as a student's grade point average increases, the attrition in online classes decreases. Technical barriers were not significant for the purpose of this study; however it was found that pedagogical and managerial barriers were more significant. Conclusions were made that students possessed the technological skills to be successful in an online course and were more concerned with the navigation and curriculum delivery style within the individual courses.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.