Nontraditional Student Perceptions Regarding the Impact of Noncognitive Characteristics on the Developmental Mathematics Learning Experience



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Using a transcendental phenomenological approach, this study explored what and how noncognitive characteristics including self-concept, self-appraisal, navigation of the system and racism, goal-setting, an available support person, leadership experience, community involvement, and acquired knowledge impacted the learning experiences of students enrolled in different modalities of a developmental mathematics course. This research was conducted at a postsecondary technical college in a mid-sized city in the northern plains. Participants represented the three instructional modalities (traditional, online, and hybrid) that the college offered. The interview data was transcribed and analyzed to determine themes regarding student perceptions. The results were used to develop a composite description of nontraditional student perceptions regarding what and how noncognitive characteristics impact the learning experience in different instructional modalities of developmental courses. Across all instructional modalities, the emergent themes were growth and career advancement, learning preferences, strategies for success, application of knowledge, and support network. Findings indicated similarities between instructional modalities regarding long term career goals, multiple approaches to learning, and the connection between modality selection and preferred course structure. The findings also indicated differences between instructional modalities regarding course goals, strategies for minimizing distractions, and the role or lack thereof of the learning community in the developmental mathematics course. Implications for practice were discussed and recommendations for future research were made.



Education, Higher