William Campbell dissertation defense

The College of Education, Health and Human Sciences

Announces the Final Examination of

William Campbell

for the degree of

Doctor of Education

April 1, 2013 at 11:00 am

405 Ball Hall, University of Memphis Memphis, TN

Bachelor of Science, Chemistry, Alcorn State University

Master of Arts in Teaching, Instruction and Curriculum Leadership, The University of Memphis

Advisor Committee

Dr. Deborah Lowther, PhD, Professor, Instruction and Curriculum Leadership, Committee Chair Dr. Michael Grant, PhD, Associate Professor, Instruction and Curriculum Leadership
Dr. Clif Mims, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Instruction and Curriculum Leadership
Dr. Kay Reeves, EdD, Clinical Associate Professor, Instruction and Curriculum Leadership

Major Field of Study

Instruction and Curriculum Leadership, Concentration in Instructional Design and Technology Period of Preparation: 2002 – 2013
Comprehensive Examination Passed: May 2010


An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action University



Online education is increasingly offered as an intervention for students at-risk of school failure. The purpose of this study was to investigate at-risk high school students’ readiness for online learning, as associated with their perceived self-directedness, learning preferences, study habits, and technology skills. The study also examined the possible influence of students’ age, grade level (ninth- through twelfth-grade) and overage for grade as related to their perceptions of readiness for online learning. The participants consisted of 264 at-risk high school students from a high minority, economically impoverished community. This quantitative study used data from the Online Readiness Assessment (ORA) and school records of student age, grade and overage for grade to investigate three research questions: 1) Which of the four factors as identified on the ORA (self-directedness, learning preferences, study habits or technology skills) is the greatest predictor of at-risk students overall online readiness? 2) Are age, grade level, or overage for grade, significant predictors of the four factors identified on the ORA? 3) Are age, grade level, or overage for grade, significant predictors of at-risk students overall online readiness as measured by the ORA? The analysis for question 1 revealed significant positive correlation between self- directedness, learning preferences, study habits, technology skills and overall online readiness indicating the importance of reinforcing these traits in at-risk high school students. For question 2, two significant positive correlations were found for student technology skills. The first showed higher perceived technology skills for those in grades 11 and 12 as compared to grades 9 and 10 and the second revealed overage students reported lower technology skills than non-overage students. These findings suggest students continuously gain technology skills, unless they are overage for their grade. The question 3 analysis yielded no significant correlations for overall score, grade level, overage for grade, when controlling for age. The increasing use of online learning for secondary students adds to the necessity to identify predictors for at-risk student achievement and success in online learning environment in order to help ensure that at-risk students succeed in online learning courses.