African American Males Learning Online: Promoting Academic Achievement 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
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.
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