Volume 16, Issue 1, January 2019

The Relationship Between Students' Personalities and Their Perception of Online Course Experiences

 Tetyana Rios, Grand Canyon University


Minimal research is available in the literature about the relationship between student personality, based on the Big Five model, and online course experiences, based on the Community of Inquiry framework. It was hypothesized in this study that the five personality factors of extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness correlate collectively or singularly to students’ perceptions of social, cognitive, and teaching presence in an online class. The study sample consisted of N = 372 students enrolled in online University Success courses. The majority of students were females (73.7%), and males made up 24.7%. Four (1.1%) students did not report their gender, and one student self-reported as transgender (< 1%). The age range was 18–65 years, with a mean age of 35.58 (SD = 10.58) years. The statistical analyses included bivariate correlation, standard multiple linear regression, and ordinal regression analyses. The findings demonstrated that relationships existed between student personality and online educational experiences, where the personality factors of conscientiousness (p < .001) and openness (p <. 01) were the two individual predictors that consistently and significantly predicted students’ perceptions of social, cognitive, and teaching presences in an online class. The findings from this study add to the emerging literature about the influence of student personality on the way students perceive their educational experiences in online classes.


Big Five personality, college students, community of inquiry, online students, university success course

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