Grit in Online Education

Main Article Content

Nicole Buzzetto-Hollywood
Kathy Quinn
Wendy Wang
Austin Hill


Aim: This study sought to explore the role of the elusive non-cognitive skill set known as grit, or the resolve and determination to achieve goals regardless of impediments, on student success in online education. It represents an area of exploration where there is a dearth in the available literature and reports the results of a study conducted at a Mid-Atlantic minority-serving university that examined the relationship between grit and student performance in fully online courses.

Methodology: Students were administered the standard 12-Question Grit Scale with the addition of a series of validated questions that sought to measure perceived self-learning efficacy. Additionally, student performances in online courses were recorded and correlations conducted. Basic statistical analyses such as mean, mode, standard deviation, variance, and confidence interval were calculated. Two hypotheses were introduced as part of this study and tested with Anovas and crosstabulations.

Results: This study found that higher grit scores correlated progressively to both self-discipline and self-efficacy but that a positive relationship to student achievement in fully online courses as measured with a p value of greater than .05 could not be confirmed.

Conclusion: As online education continues to grow, providing opportunities to foster and strengthen student success in online courses and programs is increasingly important. E-learning success requires that students exhibit strong self-regulation, self-discipline, resilience, dutifulness, conscientiousness, and low impulsivity all of which are attributes of grit. As such, grit is presented as a promising area of exploration for increasing student achievement in online education.

Grit, online education, grit in distance education, self-regulation, assessment in e-learning, lifelong learning

Article Details

How to Cite
Buzzetto-Hollywood, N., Quinn, K., Wang, W., & Hill, A. (2019). Grit in Online Education. Journal of Education, Society and Behavioural Science, 30(4), 1-11.
Original Research Article


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