ERIC Number: EJ1077498
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Jun
Abstractor: As Provided
What Makes a Student Non-Traditional? A Comparison of Students over and under Age 25 in Online, Accelerated Psychology Courses
Tilley, Brian P.
Psychology Learning and Teaching, v13 n2 p95-106 Jun 2014
The growing proportion of non-traditional students, very commonly defined as students over the age of 25 (though other features vary from study to study) necessitates more studies with this increasingly relevant group participating. Recently, the growth of non-traditional universities such as those offering predominantly online, accelerated courses raises the question: Do the student differences attributed to age apply within the student population at a non-traditional university? The following study included 151 Bachelor's-level students, 128 over the age of 25, enrolled in online courses at a non-traditional university. Results indicated no significant differences between the two groups on stress level, type of stressor, appraisal of stressors, or academic self-concept. However, students over 25 had a significantly higher level of intrinsic academic motivation. The similarities despite age differences indicate either that all students taking classes online or at a non-traditional university should be considered non-traditional, or that the age criterion is not enough to differentiate non-traditional students.
Descriptors: Nontraditional Students, Student Characteristics, Online Courses, Acceleration (Education), Comparative Analysis, Preferences, Stress Variables, Performance Factors, Definitions, College Students, Self Concept Measures, Questionnaires, Motivation Techniques, Likert Scales, Hypothesis Testing, Regression (Statistics), Age Differences, Learning Strategies
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Academic Self Concept Scale; Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire