Chronotype, sleep quality and sleep duration in adult distance education: Not related to study progress

Jérôme Gijselaers, Paul A. Kirschner, Renate De Groot

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Abstract

Research in traditional education shows chronotype, sleep duration and sleep quality to be related to learning performance. Research in adult students participating in distance education (DE) is scarce. This study aims to provide knowledge on these relationships in this educational setting. In an observational longitudinal study, chronotype, sleep duration (i.e., for work and free days separately) and sleep quality of 894 students were analyzed in a multiple regression analyses. Students provided information on sleep-relatedmeasures and important covariates at the start of their study and study progress was evaluated after 14 months (i.e., the number of successfully completed modules). In linewith previous research, chronotype did not predict study progress. Further, sleep duration did not predict study progress, neither as a linear nor as a polynomial term. Third, sleep quality did not predict study progress. Concluding, these results are in linewith previous research that DE provides a solution to the asynchrony problem. Findings regarding sleep duration and sleep quality are new and unexpected, asking for attention and further research. Despite the study's observational nature, findings suggest that students participating in DE may benefit from this type of education as the asynchrony problem appears not to apply here, as students can choose their own study schedule.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-52
JournalLearning and Individual Differences
Volume44
Early online date21 Oct 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015

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Keywords

  • Online learning
  • Distance learning
  • Learning performance
  • The ALOUD study
  • Asynchrony problem

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