Vol. 32 No. 1 (2017)
Research Articles

Predicting Success in an Online Undergraduate-Level Introductory Statistics Course using Self-Efficacy, Values, and Typical Mode of Instruction

Whitney Alicia Zimmerman
The Pennsylvania State University Department of Statistics

Published 2017-09-25


  • Online education,
  • statistics education,
  • online learning self-efficacy,
  • self-efficacy for learning statistics

How to Cite

Zimmerman, W. A. (2017). Predicting Success in an Online Undergraduate-Level Introductory Statistics Course using Self-Efficacy, Values, and Typical Mode of Instruction. International Journal of E-Learning & Distance Education Revue Internationale Du E-Learning Et La Formation à Distance, 32(1). Retrieved from https://www.ijede.ca/index.php/jde/article/view/1011


Expectancies of success and values were used to predict success in an online undergraduate-level introductory statistics course. Students who identified as primarily face-to-face learners were compared to students who identified as primarily online learners. Expectancy-value theory served as a model. Expectancies of success were operationalized as self-efficacy for learning online and self-efficacy for learning statistics.  Values were separated into the worth of learning statistics and the value of grades in the course. The purpose of this study was to determine if there are differences in the variables that may be used to predict final exam scores and successful course completion in typically face-to-face and typically online students, because there are differences in the populations of students who tend to take courses in these two different formats (i.e., traditional and adult learners). In predicting final exam grades there were no interactions with typical mode of instruction, though worth of statistics was a significant covariate and there was a main effect for typical mode of instruction. In predicting successful course completion, there were interactions between typical mode of instruction and one of the online learning self-efficacy subscales as well as the worth of statistics scale. These results are discussed in relation to the application of mainstream motivational models in the populations of traditional and adult learners.


Les attentes de succès et valeurs ont été utilisées pour prédire la réussite dans un cours en ligne d’introduction aux statistiques de niveau licence. Des étudiants identifiés comme apprenant principalement en face-à-face ont été comparés à d’autres apprenant principalement en ligne. La théorie de l’attente-valeur a servi de modèle. Les attentes de réussite ont été opérationnalisées en prenant en considération l’auto-efficacité dans l’apprentissage en ligne et l’auto-efficacité dans l’apprentissage des statistiques. Les valeurs ont été prises en considération en distinguant la pertinence d’apprendre les statistiques et la valeur des niveaux dans le cours. L’objectif de cette étude était de déterminer s’il y avait des différences dans les variables, qui pourraient être utilisées pour prédire les scores finaux d’examen et l’achèvement réussi des cours des étudiants typiquement en face-à-face et typiquement en ligne, sachant qu’il y a des différences dans les populations des étudiants qui tendent à suivre des cours dans ces deux différents formats (c’est-à-dire, les étudiants traditionnels vs les apprenants adultes). Il a été constaté que la prédiction des résultats finaux des examens n’avait pas de lien avec le mode d’instruction typique, même si la valeur des statistiques est une covariante significative et que l’effet du mode d’instruction typique est notable. La prédiction de l’achèvement des cours implique, quant à elle, une mise en lien du mode typique d’instruction et d’une des sous-échelles d’auto-efficacité de l’apprentissage en ligne de même que de la valeur de l’échelle statistique. Ces résultats sont discutés à la lumière de l’application des principaux courants motivationnels des populations d’apprenants traditionnels et d’apprenants adultes.


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