Profiles of Online Students and the Impact of Their University Experience
Keywords:online university students, student profiles, distance higher education, social conditions, impact, online education
In recent decades, there has been a steady growth in the population who enter higher education in both brick-and-mortar and, in particular, online universities. This has led to an increase in heterogeneous student profiles in a relatively short period of time. The purpose of this paper was to explore the student profiles at a university that gives all its courses online, namely the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC), and analyse students’ perceptions of their university experience. With this goal in mind, we constructed a student typology based on their social conditions and backgrounds using multiple correspondence analysis. Subsequently, an analysis of variance (Kruskall-Wallis test) was run to detect whether there were any differences in students’ perceptions of the impact of their university experience (N = 1850). Although the prevailing profile of students in the online university continues to reflect students with responsibilities outside of the university (e.g., work and/or family), new profiles have been observed, made up of younger students without any work or family responsibilities. In turn, younger students’ distinct perceptions of their university experience has been observed, depending on student profiles, with older students having more intrinsic perceptions, focused on learning and the acquisition of theoretical knowledge.
How to Cite
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence. The copyright of all content published in IRRODL is retained by the authors.
This copyright agreement and use license ensures, among other things, that an article will be as widely distributed as possible and that the article can be included in any scientific and/or scholarly archive.
You are free to
- Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format
- Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially.
The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow the license terms below:
- Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
- No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.