In a study conducted at a large, public university, the authors collected data to measure the relationship between student behavior and performance in an online undergraduate finance class based on two different course formats: instructor-regulated versus student-regulated. The quantitative study indicated significant differences in student behavior when given the self-regulated option, which correlated with deterioration in overall student performance. The study found that when students were given the flexibility to fully control course pacing, there was a statistically significant difference in their pattern of taking quizzes, especially missing quizzes entirely. Also, these students collectively exhibited statistically significant lower overall exam scores. This suggests that some students either do not choose to or experience difficulty with managing their time in a self-paced learning structure.
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