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An investigation of undergraduate-level academic performance mediators

An investigation of undergraduate-level academic performance mediators PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to investigate the mediating roles of absenteeism and continuous assessments on the overall academic performance at undergraduate level using structural equation modelling (SEM).Design/methodology/approachPragmatic worldview with a mixed-method approach was used in this study. Data were collected using a variety of tools. Subsequent analyses used both qualitative and quantitative techniques. Interviews and documentary analyses were used to identify the dimensions of student disengagement while SEM was used to determine mediation among selected variables.FindingsThe results of this study showed that absence rates mediated the relationship between performance on continuous assessments and grade point average (GPA). Absence rates also mediated the relationship between personal circumstances and GPA and finally, course selection impacted on GPA with performance on continuous assessments as the mediator. H3 were not supported and the implications are discussed.Research limitations/implicationsThe research was conducted in a single institution, was cross-sectional in nature and the variables used were contextualised. However, the tools used in this study can be adapted to identify the risk factors leading to poor student performance in other settings and to address them.Practical implicationsThe outcomes of the current study can be useful to policymakers and practitioners in in addressing student performance-related issues.Social implicationsOn a broader perspective, societal challenges associated with student dropouts resulting from poor academic performance can be minimised.Originality/valueThis study shows academic performance in a different perspective where mediators reveal the complex nature of the determinants of academic performance. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education Emerald Publishing

An investigation of undergraduate-level academic performance mediators

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
2050-7003
DOI
10.1108/JARHE-04-2017-0025
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to investigate the mediating roles of absenteeism and continuous assessments on the overall academic performance at undergraduate level using structural equation modelling (SEM).Design/methodology/approachPragmatic worldview with a mixed-method approach was used in this study. Data were collected using a variety of tools. Subsequent analyses used both qualitative and quantitative techniques. Interviews and documentary analyses were used to identify the dimensions of student disengagement while SEM was used to determine mediation among selected variables.FindingsThe results of this study showed that absence rates mediated the relationship between performance on continuous assessments and grade point average (GPA). Absence rates also mediated the relationship between personal circumstances and GPA and finally, course selection impacted on GPA with performance on continuous assessments as the mediator. H3 were not supported and the implications are discussed.Research limitations/implicationsThe research was conducted in a single institution, was cross-sectional in nature and the variables used were contextualised. However, the tools used in this study can be adapted to identify the risk factors leading to poor student performance in other settings and to address them.Practical implicationsThe outcomes of the current study can be useful to policymakers and practitioners in in addressing student performance-related issues.Social implicationsOn a broader perspective, societal challenges associated with student dropouts resulting from poor academic performance can be minimised.Originality/valueThis study shows academic performance in a different perspective where mediators reveal the complex nature of the determinants of academic performance.

Journal

Journal of Applied Research in Higher EducationEmerald Publishing

Published: Feb 5, 2018

References