Title

Academic Success Factors: An IT Student Perspective

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2011

Publication Title

Journal of IT Education: Research

Abstract

Numerous studies have identified causal factors for academic success. Factors vary from personal factors, such as cognitive style (McKenzie & Schweitzer, 2001), to social factors, such as culture differences (Aysan, Tanriogen, & Tanriogen, 1996). However, in these studies it is re-searchers who theorized the causal dimensions and hypothesized the causal factors. Students were passive objects used to test the theories or to validate the hypotheses. Each researcher may have developed his or her own scheme of causal structure. These structures are not necessarily identical among researchers nor are they the same as those of students. This study has two objectives. The first is to combine the factors that contribute to academic success that have been identified in the literature and to unify them under a single framework. This is achieved by reviewing the existing literature on academic success and on categorization of academic success factors in order to develop the framework. The second objective is to add the IT student perspective to the framework. That is to find out what factors are perceived by students as relevant to their academic success and to determine which are the most important. To this end, two surveys were administered to IT students. In the first survey, students identified causal factors related to their own academic success. In the second survey, students ranked factors according to importance. Students did not list any factors that had been previously presented in research. However, they did identify them at a more detailed level (for example, literature might look at effort as a factor, where students listed several activities that involve effort). However, students did not list some factors as important to their success that had been previously identified in the literature, most notably intelligence. The detailed results for the two surveys are presented and discussed. Recommendations are made for institutions and faculty based on the results obtained. (Contains 1 figure and 6 tables.)

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