Studies emphasize that a specific learner characteristic in the management of time – procrastination, and its role in an online learning environment. More specifically, it was expected that procrastination would influence the successfulness of online learning and that this could be explained by the level of participation of learners in discussion forums. A study was conducted to test this hypothesis among a sample of learners taking a 10-week course on environmental and land use issues. As predicted, a negative relationship was found between procrastination and performance, and this relationship was mediated by the level of the learners’ participation in discussion forums. In other words, it appears that if high procrastinators are less successful online learners than low procrastinators, it is partly due to their lack of participation in discussion forums during the learning process. Additionally, some behavioral differences between high and low procrastinators were found in the times they decided to (re)start working at a distance, felt motivated to work on their course, and felt like dropping out of the course. To conclude, some practical implications for tutoring online activities and for stimulating participation in online learning environments have been proposed.
TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT
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