Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Instr and Curr Leadership


Instructional Design and Tech

Committee Chair

Deborah Lowther

Committee Member

Michael Grant

Committee Member

Clif Mims

Committee Member

Kay Reeves


Online education is increasingly offered as an intervention for students at-risk of school failure. The purpose of this study was to investigate at-risk high school students' readiness for online learning, as associated with their perceived self-directedness, learning preferences, study habits, and technology skills. The study also examined the possible influence of students' age, grade level (ninth-through-twelfth grade) and over-age for grade as related to their perceptions of readiness for online learning. The participants consisted of 264 at-risk high school students from a high minority, economically impoverished community. This quantitative study used data from the Online Readiness Assessment (ORA) and school records of student age, grade and over-age for grade to investigate three research questions: 1) Which of the four factors as identified on the ORA (self-directedness, learning preferences, study habits or technology skills) is the greatest predictor of at-risk students overall online readiness? 2) Are there significant differences in the four ORA factor mean scores (self-directedness, learning preferences, study habits and technology skills) when comparing on the basis of grade level or over-age for grade and controlling for age? 3) Are there significant differences in ORA overall mean scores when comparing on the basis of grade level or over-age for grade and controlling for age? For question 2, two significant differences in mean scores were found for student technology skills. The first showed higher perceived technology skills for those in grades 11 and 12 as compared to grades 9 and 10 and the second revealed over-age students reported lower technology skills than students that were not over-age for grade. These findings suggest students continuously gain technology skills, unless they are over-age for their grade. The question 3 analysis yielded no significant differences in mean scores for overall score, grade level, over-age for grade, when controlling for age. The increasing use of online learning for secondary students adds to the necessity to identify significant relationships for at-risk student achievement and success in online learning environment in order to help ensure that at-risk students succeed in online learning 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.