USU’s Provost, Dr. Scott Burrus and USU faculty member Dr. Melanie Shaw were published in the Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration. Their article titled, “Predictors of Online Doctoral Student Success: A Quantitative Study” is found here: https://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/winter224/burrusfioreshaw224.html
Online doctoral education is expanding; however, there is a paucity of research on the predictors of student success in these programs. Institutional leaders struggle to provide the academic environment and interventions to help online doctoral students make continual progress and complete their doctoral research, especially in open enrollment environments. In this study, a primarily online doctoral-granting institution undertook significant financial and philosophical investments, in the form of modified processes and interventions, to support student success in completing their doctoral research. To better understand the impact of these investments, this study used student intervention and progress data to analyze which interventions were predictors of online doctoral student success as measured by accelerated progression. Specifically, both the shift from a dissertation to an applied research study and student participation in an intensive, research focused workshop supported student success. Future research should be conducted to determine if these results are generalizable to other programs and also to determine if an in-person or a virtual intensive workshop is more conducive to student success.