Resilience and grit also required for online courses

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Sometimes students really have to immerse themselves in the materials in order to master them. If they have enough discipline, don’t lose interest quickly and are able to set long-term goals, then they have what is known as ‘grit’.

Those who have grit don’t give up when they run into minor obstacles. That’s why grit is a helpful personality trait when it comes to predicting students’ academic success. But is that also the case for students enrolled in online courses, who tend to be older than the average university student?

Follow through

Yes, it is, as a study conducted with more than 2,000 students at the Open University revealed. They were presented with different propositions designed to measure their grit, such as: ‘If I start something, I finish it’.

One remarkable finding is that students with a great deal of resilience enrolled in exams less frequently. Perhaps that was a coincidence, the researchers suggest, or perhaps these students wanted to take more time to study for an exam. But when they do sit their exams, they get higher marks.

Were these results predictable? That may very well be, but the ages of students at the Open University vary more than at other universities. The idea was that other rules might apply for these students.

A follow-up study should reveal how grit can be measured more precisely, and how you can use such insights to increase students’ academic success, the researchers write.