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Exploring Non-Cognitive Reasons behind Success after Failure

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Exploring Non-Cognitive Reasons behind Success after Failure

Elle Yuan Wang, Jim Cunningham, René Kizilcek


The availability of large-scale online courses enabled assessment of academic performances at scale. Equally important is the opportunity to investigate the state of non-cognitive or soft skills of online learners to inform design of interventions to improve learning outcomes. The present analysis looked at learners who successfully passed the course, passing either on a first attempt or after one or more failed attempts, and compared how their soft skills differ from the rest of learners. The findings suggested that 1) Learners who successfully passed the course tend to have strong skill sets related to time and project management; 2) Learners who successfully passed the course after failed attempts tend to have higher skill sets related to decision making and leadership.


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Elle Yuan Wang poster