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Success In Online Learning: Does Faculty Intercession Via E Mail Messages Alter Student Procrastination Behavior And Enhance Learning?

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Assessing with Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1172.1 - 10.1172.8

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Paper Authors

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Jonathan P. Mathews

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David Morales

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Success in Online Learning: Does Faculty Intercession via E-mail Messages Alter Student Procrastination Behavior and Enhance Learning?

D. Roberto Morales±, and Jonathan P. Mathews*

Energy and Geo-Environmental Engineering Department and John A. Dutton e-Education Institute College of Earth & Mineral Sciences ± Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence The Pennsylvania State University University Park, PA 16802 |

One of the greatest assets of campus based online learning: greater flexibility may promote greater procrastination with concurrent negative consequences. Procrastination is especially prevalent among novice online learners, specifically the male traditional campus-based undergraduate student. This paper investigates the relationship between performance and procrastination for campus-based “traditional” students enrolled in a fully online, large enrollment (300+ students a semester), general education class. Procrastination was rampant with 40% of students typically starting the weekly lesson(s) on the due date(s). Procrastinators had reduced grades (6% lower or an average “A” to “B+/A-” transition) for weekly reflection activities. Males were more susceptible to negative consequences in comparison to their counterparts who procrastinated much less (7% difference in submissions on the due date), and were not as susceptible to lower score(s) on average when they did procrastinate. An e-mail intercession late in the semester failed to change submission habits.

Learning within the online environment is becoming increasingly popular and accessible to on-campus students. The Penn State University Registrars schedule of courses [1] lists a total of 33 WEB courses (spring 2005 semester) available to University Park campus students. A “WEB” class being defined as all instruction taking place online. The majority of these classes meet the general education requirements: 21 out of 33 classes. With 9 courses (7 of which are general education) being nascent spring online offerings [2] . For comparison, the fall 2004 semester had 25 (16 general education) WEB courses. Most of the general education WEB courses being at enrollment capacity (96% overall) at the start of the semester. Online enrollment for University Park students being 2,670 for the spring 2005 semester, or approximately 12% of the undergraduate population will be enrolled in an online course in 2005 (assuming no students are enrolled in multiple WEB courses). Seventy six percent of students in the class studied indicated that it was their first WEB class experience at Penn State (survey result).

“Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2005, American Society for Engineering Education”

Mathews, J. P., & Morales, D. (2005, June), Success In Online Learning: Does Faculty Intercession Via E Mail Messages Alter Student Procrastination Behavior And Enhance Learning? Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon.

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