Self-regulatory and demographic predictors of grades in online and face-to-face university cohorts: A multi-group path analysis

Kate Talsma / British Journal of Educational Technology / Apr 24, 2023

Student Studying at Computer

Predictors of academic success at university are of great interest to educators, researchers and policymakers. With more students studying online, it is important to understand whether traditional predictors of academic outcomes in face-to-face settings are relevant to online learning. This study modelled self-regulatory and demographic predictors of subject grades in 84 online and 80 face-to-face undergraduate students. Predictors were effort regulation, grade goal, academic self-efficacy, performance self-efficacy, age, sex, socio-economic status (SES) and first-in-family status. A multi-group path analysis indicated that the models were significantly different across learning modalities. For face-to-face students, none of the model variables significantly predicted grades. For online students, only performance self-efficacy significantly predicted grades (small effect). Findings suggest that learner characteristics may not function in the same way across learning modes. Further factor analytic and hierarchical research is needed to determine whether self-regulatory predictors of academic success continue to be relevant to modern student cohorts.