The perceptions and actions of selected distance educators on academic procrastination in telecommunications-based distance education programs in higher education

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1990
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Virginia Tech
Abstract

This study investigated the perceptions and actions of selected distance educators on academic procrastination in telecommunications-based distance education programs in higher education. Data were collected via mail survey from a sample of 276 telecommunications-based distance education programs identified by two national data sources. Specifically, subjects were asked to provide information on: the extent to which they perceived academic procrastination to be a problem in their program, the data they collected on academic procrastination, and the strategies they used to com.bat academic procrastination.

Responses from 143 programs (135 program directors and 297 faculty) indicated that 95 percent of the distance educators believed student procrastination was a problem and 37.5 percent believed it was a serious problem. However, distance educators' data collecting efforts on academic procrastination were neither extensive nor systematic. The data that they reported collecting came from traditional sources and unsophisticated methods of data collection. The sources and unsophisticated methods of data collection. The distance educators did report using a variety of strategies to combat academic procrastination. These strategies had little relationship to the distance educators' perception of academic procrastination or the data they collected on procrastination. Distance educators tended to add more structure and control to reduce procrastination as opposed to rewarding students for early completion of assignments.

This study indicated that distance educators were sufficiently concerned about academic procrastination to warrant further investigation. Focus should be placed on comparing programs with low procrastination against programs with high procrastination, perceptions and actions of distance learners on academic procrastination, and determining what data collecting techniques and strategies to reduce procrastination are most effective.

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