Title

Academic Performance, Age, Gender, and Ethnicity in Online Courses Delivered by Two-Year Colleges

Document Type

Article

Publication Title

Community College Journal of Research and Practice

ISSN

1066-8926

Volume

36

Issue

9

DOI

10.1080/10668921003744876

First Page

656

Last Page

669

Publication Date

June 2012

Abstract

This study investigated the effects the demographic variables age, gender, and ethnicity and their interactions had on academic performance in online courses delivered by public two-year colleges in Kentucky. The study controlled for previous academic performance measured by cumulative grade point average (GPA). The study used a random sample (N = 320) of all students who had enrolled in at least one online course delivered by the institutions of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System in the spring 2008 semester. A linear hierarchical multiple regression acting as ANCOVA served as the main analysis, with the order entry as follows: cumulative GPA; independent variables (age, gender, ethnicity); interaction vectors; and product vectors. Final course grade served as the dependent variable. The results of the analysis indicated that only cumulative GPA was a significant predictor, explaining approximately 40% of the variance of the final grade. Although differences in final grades were present among the variables age and ethnicity, these differences disappeared when controlling for cumulative GPA. Significance of the results and recommendations for future research are discussed.