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An exploration of psychological grit as a predictor of student retention in an open distance learning (ODL) institution

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dc.contributor.advisor Fynn, Angelo
dc.contributor.advisor Archer, Elizabeth Young, Kelly Anne 2020-10-15T09:42:55Z 2020-10-15T09:42:55Z 2019-08
dc.description.abstract This research study explored the predictive value of psychological grit in determining student retention among postgraduates in an Open Distance Learning (ODL) institution in South Africa. Working from within a quantitative framework (and adopting a correlational research design), an online version of the Grit-S scale was utilised to gauge participants’ levels of grit (n = 837), followed by one-year lagged secondary data which sought to ascertain retention among the sample. Seeking to explore the psychometric rigour of the Grit-S scale, exploratory and partial confirmatory factor analyses were employed to investigate the validity of the instrument, followed by the assessment of Cronbach’s alpha coefficients. Thereafter, correlations and binary logistic regressions were employed to investigate the relationship between the constructs and explore grit’s ability to predict retention from one academic period to the next. Results from the analyses indicated that, while the Grit-S scale demonstrates sound validity and reliability for use within ODL settings, grit was neither related to retention nor could it significantly predict retention among the current sample. Although these results do not negate grit’s reported role in determining successful student outcomes in traditional higher education settings, they bring to the fore a need to critically re-examine grit’s contribution to understanding retention, not only among ODL students, but among those whose socio-economic circumstances remain a crucial barrier. As such, pre- emptive strategies aimed at retaining students should rather focus on mitigating the immediate, and often negative, socio-economic circumstances faced by students, rather than intervening based on their levels of psychological grit. en
dc.format.extent 1 online resource xix, (197 leaves) : color illustrations
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Psychological grit en
dc.subject Student retention en
dc.subject Open Distance Learning (ODL) en
dc.subject Distance education en
dc.subject Higher education en
dc.subject Predictors of student retention en
dc.subject Grit-S scale en
dc.subject Validity en
dc.subject Reliability en
dc.subject South Africa en
dc.title An exploration of psychological grit as a predictor of student retention in an open distance learning (ODL) institution en
dc.type Thesis en
dc.description.department Psychology en D. Litt. et Phil. (Psychology)

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