First Advisor

Janine Allen

Date of Publication

Fall 9-11-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership: Postsecondary Education


Educational Leadership and Policy




Counseling in higher education -- Public opinion, Distance education students -- Attitudes, Distance education, Educational counseling



Physical Description

1 online resource (ix, 188 pages)


Academic advising for online learners has been identified in prior research as an important student service. However, little research exists to assist advisers in knowing how best to serve this growing group. The purpose of this study is to close that research gap by determining if and how online and on-campus learners differ in how they rate the importance of various functions of academic advising as well as determining if their frequency of access to academic advising and source of advising information differed. Additionally, the research examines if the types and levels of learning for online learners varied by frequency of advising, source of advising information, and satisfaction with advising received.

Participants in the non-experimental, survey-based, exploratory research study include 6,368 undergraduate students pursuing a bachelor's degree at three public institutions including two four-year institutions and one community college. Participants received a survey asking them about their experiences with and attitudes towards academic advising. Results indicate that online and on-campus learners differ in how they rate the relative importance of the different functions of academic advising and that those differences are uniquely related to learners' status as online learners. Additionally, online learners reported more of the types of learning expected from academic advising when they received their advising from an adviser as opposed to advising tools (e.g., web sites, advising guidelines) or their informal social networks, when they were advised more frequently, and when they were satisfied with the advising they received. Implications for practice and suggestions for future research are discussed.


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