Despite online courses’ growing popularity, the factors that shape undergraduates’ choice of course modality are still poorly understood. This study explores the relations between a wide range of factors and students’ modality selection, in a context where both modalities — face-to-face and online — were made available. Undergraduates from a Canadian University enrolled in face-to-face (N = 335) and online courses (N = 315) completed a questionnaire assessing personal factors, course attributes, goal orientation and learning strategies. Data were subject to descriptive and inferential statistical analysis, and two logistic regressions were performed to model students’ enrolment and preference. Analysis revealed that the groups differed significantly in twelve variables. For example, number of previous online courses and enjoyment of online courses were significantly higher for online students. Logistic regression analysis extended these findings, indicating ten significant predictors for online enrolment, among them higher number of previous online courses and higher work-avoidance goals.
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Thesis advisor: O'Neill, Kevin
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