Relationships Between Online Student Engagement Practices and GPA Among RN-to-BSN Students

Kathryn E. Rioch, Jennifer L. Tharp


The purpose of this quantitative, correlational study was to investigate the relationships between perceived online student engagement and self-reported grade point average (GPA) among post-licensure, undergraduate nursing students. Participants for this study were RN-to-BSN students at a mid-sized university in the Midwest. Approximately 110 students were contacted for participation, with 27 complete student responses (N= 27). Study participants were predominately 36 years or older (63%), full-time students (55.6%), and female (77.8%). The Community of Inquiry survey instrument by authors Arbaugh et al. (2008) measured perceived student engagement. Significant, positive correlations among the variables of cognitive presence (rs= .467, p= .014), teaching presence (rs= .448, p= .019), and self-reported GPA were determined among RN-to-BSN students. Significant effect differences were found between student engagement groups and self-reported GPA (p< .05); thus, within this study, student engagement significantly related to academic outcomes. Subsequently, the utilization of institution standards that heighten online student engagement could relate to improved student academic outcomes for RN-to-BSN students.


student engagement, online learning, Community of Inquiry, RN to BSN students

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Copyright (c) 2022 Kathryn E. Rioch, Ed.D, MS, RDN, LDN, Jennifer L. Tharp, Ph.D.

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