Students' engagement characteristics predict success and completion of online courses

Tal Soffer*, Anat Cohen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examined students' engagement characteristics in online courses and their impact on academic achievements, trying to distinguish between course completers and noncompleters. Moreover, this research is intended to differentiate between those who pass the final exam and those who do not. Four online courses were examined with a similar pedagogical model (N students  = 646) using learning analytics methods. The results revealed significant differences between students who completed the courses and students who did not, in all 13 variables. Completers' learning activities were more than twice as high, except for writing in the forums. Course subject and ongoing task and assignment submissions predicted course completion, whereas, in addition to these variables, engagement with course materials and reading the forums predicted final exam success, as well. Thus, the prediction of success in final exam emphasized the significant importance of engagement in various activities in the online course.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)378-389
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Computer Assisted Learning
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2019


  • achievement
  • higher education
  • instructional technologies
  • online course
  • student learning behaviour


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