African American Males Learning Online: Promoting Academic Achievement in Higher Education

Susan G Salvo, Brett Welch, Kaye Shelton

Abstract


Online education is expanding within higher education. However, attrition rates for African American males enrolled in higher education in general, and in online courses specifically, is on the rise. Because the future of our nation depends on how well our educational institutions develop, nurture, and deploy talent, an investigation was conducted to identify factors that promoted online course completion among African American male undergraduate students. Ten males who successfully completed online courses were interviewed, and significant themes were identified. Factors that contributed to online course completion were financial assistance, prior academic achievement, previous information technology (IT) training, continuous academic enrollment, student selection of topics perceived as uncomplicated and less demanding or familiar due to sufficient prior knowledge, use of handheld digital devices, and a non-prejudicial learning environment. Based on these findings, recommendations are made that include strategies policymakers and educationists can implement to promote academic achievement and degree attainment among African American males in higher education.


Keywords


distance learning, distance education, online learning, online education, African American students, black students, undergraduate students, male students, university students, best practices, contributing factors, academic achievement

Full Text:

PDF

References


Allen, I. E., & Seaman, J. (2014). Grade change: Tracking online education in the United States. Babson Park, MA: Babson Survey Research Group and Quahog Research Group, LLC. Retrieved from http://www.onlinelearningsurvey.com/reports/gradechange.pdf

Allen, I. E., Seaman, J., Poulin, R., & Straut, T. T. (2016). Online report card: Tracking online education in the United States. Babson Park, MA: Babson Survey Research Group and Quahog Research Group, LLC. Retrieved from http://onlinelearningsurvey.com/reports/onlinereportcard.pdf

Ashong, C. Y., & Commander, N. E. (2012). Ethnicity, gender, and perceptions of online learning in higher education. MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 8(2), 98–110. Retrieved from http://jolt.merlot.org/vol8no2/ashong_0612.pdf

Bambara, C. S., Harbour, C. P., Davies, T. G., & Athey, S. (2009). Delicate engagement: The lived experience of community college students enrolled in high-risk online courses. Community College Review, 36(3), 219–238. doi:10.1177/0091552108327187

Boyette, M. A. (2008). An investigation of the online learning environment in higher education through the observations and perceptions of students of color (Doctoral dissertation). Available from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. (UMI No. 3347315)

Cochran, J. D., Campbell, S. M., Baker, H. M., & Leeds, E. M. (2013). The role of student characteristics in predicting retention in online courses. Research in Higher Education, 55(1), 27–48. doi:10.1007/s11162-013-9305-8

Collins, S. Y. (2014). Racial identity theory and its perceived impact for African American students in an online distance learning program (Doctoral dissertation). Available from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. (UMI No. 3682202)

Corey, D. L., & Bower, B. L. (2005). The experiences of an African American male learning in the traditional and the online classroom—A case study. The Journal of Negro Education, 74(4), 321–331.

Cox, R. D. (2005). Online education as institutional myth: Rituals and realities at community colleges. Teachers College Record, 107(8), 1754–1787. Retrieved from http://ccrc.tc.columbia.edu/media/k2/attachments/online-education-institutional-myth.pdf

Duncan, H., Range, B., & Hvidston, D. (2013). Exploring student perceptions of rigor online: Toward a definition of rigorous learning. Journal on Excellence in College Teaching, 24(4), 5–28.

Dukes, S. (1984). Phenomenological methodology in the human sciences. Journal of Religion and Health, 23(3), 197–203.

Dyce, C. M. (2013). Disappearing into the unknown: The state of Black male achievement in American public schools. Multicultural Perspectives, 15(3), 165–167. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15210960.2013.809307

Fairlie, R. W. (2012). The effects of home access to technology on computer skills: Evidence from a field experiment. Information Economics and Policy, 24, 243–253. doi:10.1016/j.infoecopol.2012.06.001

Fayer, L. (2014). A multi-case study of student perceptions of online course design elements and success. International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 8(1). https://doi.org/10.20429/ijsotl.2014.080113

Figlio, D. N., Rush, M., & Yin, L. (2013). Is it live or is it internet? Experimental estimates of the effects of online instruction on student learning. Journal of Labor Economics, 31(4), 763–784. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/669930?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

Flowers, L. A., Flowers, L. O., Flowers, T. A., & Moore, J. L. (2014). Examining the effects of online distance education of African American students’ perceived learning. Black History Bulletin, 77(1), 21–26. Retrieved from http://v77n78.blackhistorybulletin.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/8/2015/03/R8UR72304851U2211.pdf

Flowers, L. O., White, E. N., Raynor, J. E., & Bhattacharya, S. (2012). African American students’ participation in online distance education in STEM disciplines: Implications for HBCUs. Sage Open Journals, 2(2), 1–5. doi:10.1177/2158244012443544

Gibson, Y. B. (2014). The impact of mentoring programs for African American male community college students. Journal of Mason Graduate Research, 1(2), 70–82. Retrieved from http://journals.gmu.edu/jmgr/article/download/216/385

Gilkey, E. (2012). African American men and college: Understanding how they succeed (Doctoral dissertation). Available from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. (UMI No. 3512927)

Hall, J. (2010). African American doctoral students at for-profit colleges and universities: A critical race theory exploration (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from https://repository.lib.ncsu.edu/bitstream/handle/1840.16/6211/etd.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

Harrington, R., & Loffredo, D. A. (2010). MBTI personality type and other factors that relate to preference for online versus face-to-face instruction. The Internet and Higher Education, 13, 89–95.

Hartnett, M., St. George, A., & Dron, J. (2011). Examining motivation in online distance learning environments: Complex, multifaceted, and situation-dependent. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 12(6), 20–38. doi:10.19173/irrodl.v12i6.1030

Horspool, A., & Lange, C. (2012). Applying the scholarship of teaching and learning: Student perceptions, behaviours and success online and face-to-face. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 37(1), 73–88. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02602938.2010.496532

Hughes, R. L. (2010). Engaging African American males for education success. Gifted Child Today, 33(2), 55–61.

Institute for Higher Educational Policy. (2010). A snapshot of African Americans in higher education. Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED521322.pdf

International Federation of Library Associations. (2016). The rise of massive open online courses (MOOCs). Retrieved from http://trends.ifla.org/expert-meeting-summary/the-rise-of-massive-open-online-courses-moocs

Jackson, J. (2014, January 20). The Black male: An endangered species? Neon Tommy: Annenberg Digital News. Retrieved from http://www.neontommy.com/news/2014/01/black-male-endangered-species

Jaggars, S. S., & Bailey, T. (2010). Effectiveness of fully online courses for college students: Response to a department of education meta-analysis. New York, NY: Community College Research Center, Columbia University.

James, S., Swan, K., & Daston, C. (2016). Retention, progression and the taking of online courses. Online Learning, 20(2).

Ke, F., & Kwak, D. (2013). Online learning across ethnicity and age: A study of learning interaction participation, perception, and learning satisfaction. Computers & Education, 61, 43–51. doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2012.09.003

Kwun, O., Alijani, G. S., Mancuso, L. C., & Fulk, H. K. (2012). Student perceptions of online courses and behavior in historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU). Franklin Business & Law Journal, 2012(2), 99–120.

Lokken, F., & Mullins, C. (2014). Trends in e-learning: Tracking the impact of e-learning at community colleges. Washington, D.C.: Instructional Technology Council.

McCoy, K. L. (2012). A study of African American males and their response to online learning (Doctoral dissertation). Available from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. (UMI No. 3546682)

McDaniel, A., DiPrete, T. A., Buchmann, C., & Shwed, U. (2011). The black gender gap in educational attainment: Historical trends and racial comparisons. Demography, 48(3), 889–914. doi:10.1007/s13524-011-0037-0

McGivney, R. J. (2009). Adult student persistence in online education: Developing a model to understand the factors that affect adult student persistence in a course (Doctoral dissertation). Available from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. (UMI No. 3349732)

Merrills, J. M. S. (2010). Factors affecting nontraditional African American students’ participation in online world literature classes (Doctoral dissertation). Available from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. (UMI No. 3434153)

Moore, D. (2014). An investigation of the attrition of African-American students in an online undergraduate program (Doctoral dissertation). Available from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. (UMI No. 3626928)

Moore, M., & Kearsely, G. (1996) Distance education: A systems view. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing.

National Center for Education Statistics. (2011). The condition of education, 2011. (NCES 2011-033), Indicator 43. Retrieved from https://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2011033

National Center for Education Statistics. (2015). The condition of education, 2015. Retrieved from http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2015/2015144.pdf

National Center for Education Statistics. (2016). Digest of education statistics, 2014. Retrieved from https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2016/2016006.pdf

Newell, C. C. (2007). Learner characteristics as predictors of online course completion among nontraditional technical college students (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from https://getd.libs.uga.edu/pdfs/newell_chandler_c_200705_edd.pdf

Ortman, J. M., & Guarneri, C. E. (2009). United States population projection: 2000-2050. Retrieved from https://www.census.gov/population/projections/files/analytical-document09.pdf

Osborne, J. (2001). Testing stereotype threat: Does anxiety explain race and sex differences in achievement? Contemporary Educational Psychology, 26(3), 291–310. doi:10.1006/ceps.2000.1052

Palmer, R. T., Davis, R. J., Moore, J. L., & Hilton, A. A. (2010). A nation at risk: Increasing college participation and persistence among African American males to stimulate U.S. global competitiveness. Journal of African American Males in Education, 1(2), 105–124.

Paulsen, M. F. (2002). Online education systems: Discussion and definition of terms. Retrieved from http://www.porto.ucp.pt/open/curso/modulos/doc/definition%20of%20terms.pdf

Preisman, K. A. (2014). Teaching presence in online education: From the instructor’s point of view. Online Learning, 18(3).

Robertson, R. V., & Mason, D. (2008). What works? A qualitative examination of the factors related to the academic success of African American males at a predominantly White college in the South. Challenge: A Journal of Research on African American Men, 14(2), 67–89.

Romero, M., & Usart, M. (2014). The temporal perspective in higher education learners: Comparisons between online and onsite learning. European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning, 17(1), 190–209. https://doi.org/10.2478/eurodl-2014-0013

Rovai, A. P., & Gallien, L. B. (2005). Learning and sense of community: A comparative analysis of African American and Caucasian online graduate students. Journal of Negro Education, 74(1), 53–62.

Rovai, A. P., & Ponton, M. K. (2005). An examination of sense of classroom community and learning among African American and Caucasian graduate students. Retrieved from http://olc.onlinelearningconsortium.org/sites/default/files/v9n3_rovai_1.pdf

Shea, P., & Bidjerano, T. (2014). Does online learning impede degree completion? A national study of community college students. Computers & Education, 75, 103–111. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2014.02.009

Stanley, B. C. (2014). Online vs. face-to-face instruction: A comparison of engagement and gains for African-American and white students at predominantly white institutions (Doctoral dissertation). Available from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. (UMI No. 3625940)

Swan, K. (2016). Online learning and student success: New findings from learning analytics. In Proceedings of Global Learn—Global Conference on Learning and Technology (pp. 553–560). Limerick, Ireland: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved from https://www.learntechlib.org/p/172802/

Tonsing-Meyer, J. (2013). An examination of online instructional practices based on the learning styles of graduate education students. The Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 14(3), 141–149.

Tucker, W. G. (2014). Spaces for success in higher education: Males of color at an online predominantly white community college (Doctoral dissertation). Available from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. (UMI No. 3621155)

Varela, O. E., Cater, J. J., & Michel, N. (2012). Online learning in management education: An empirical study of the role of personality traits. Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 24, 209. doi:10.1007/s12528-012-9059-x

Washington, M. (2013). Is the Black male college graduate becoming an endangered species? A multi-case analysis of the attrition of black males in higher education. LUX: A Journal of Transdisciplinary Writing and Research from Claremont Graduate University, 3(1), 1–19. doi:10.5642/lux.201303.20

Williams, K. (2015). The impact that technology and social systems have on African American student enrollment growth in totally online, hybrid/blended online, and face-to-face undergraduate degree programs (Doctoral dissertation). Available from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. (UMI No. 3707786)

Xu, D., & Jaggars, S. S. (2011). Online and hybrid course enrollment and performance in Washington State community and technical colleges. CCRC Working Paper No. 31. New York, NY: Community College Research Center, Columbia University. Retrieved from http://ccrc.tc.columbia.edu/media/k2/attachments/online-hybrid-performance-washington.pdf

Xu, D., & Jaggars, S. S. (2013). Adaptability to online learning: Differences across types of students and academic subject areas. CCRC Working Paper No. 54. New York, NY: Community College Research Center, Columbia University. Retrieved from http://ccrc.tc.columbia.edu/media/k2/attachments/adaptability-to-online-learning.pdf

Xu, D., & Jaggars, S. S. (2014). Performance gaps between online and face-to-face courses: Differences across types of students and academic subject areas. Journal of Higher Education, 85(5), 633–659. doi:10.1353/jhe.2014.0028

Zickuhr, K., & Smith, A. (2012). Digital differences. Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, Washington, D.C., 1–41. Retrieved from http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2012/Digital-differences.aspx




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24059/olj.v23i1.1390



Copyright (c) 2019 Susan G Salvo