• Middle School Student Academic Success In Supplemental Courses: An Exploratory Study

      VanWagner, Kirsten Julia
      The purpose of this study was to explore potential relationships between and predictability of self-regulation and demographic variables and academic achievement for middle school taking their first supplemental online course.  Participant data from a historic data set included 95 middle school students in seventh and eighth grade enrolled in their first supplemental online course through their local school district virtual program within the state of Georgia. Using educational data mining and learning analytics, demographic, engagement, and performance data from the Fall 2018 semester were collected from the local district virtual program student information system (SIS) and learning management system (LMS) provider.  A multiple regression analysis was used to identify the relationship between demographic, engagement, and performance variables.  Results indicated statistically significant correlations between engagement, learning environment, and exceptionality (p = .037) as well as gender (p = .045); however, there was no statistically significant difference between student academic achievement and learning environment.   A second multiple regression analysis run with only 89 successful students indicated a statistically significant correlation between engagement, learning environment, and ethnicity (p = .026), and results indicated a statistically significant difference between effort regulation, learning environment, and academic achievement (p = .045).  Also discussed are the implications and limitations of the study leading to recommendations for future research. Findings indicated a need for additional exploration within ethnicity and exceptionality groups. Suggested areas for further study also included exploring additional variables such as scheduled work time, previous academic achievement, and subject area as well as comparison studies between traditional and online courses and qualitative research designs.