Self-Esteem and Loneliness as Factors Affecting Distance Learning Students

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This study aims at empirically examining the relation of self-esteem and loneliness with social presence, academic performance, satisfaction with the course and intention for academic drop out, in a blended distance learning environment in Greece. The study involved both undergraduate and postgraduate students of the Hellenic Open University (HOU). Data were collected via a four-section questionnaire. The correlational data analysis yielded a negative correlation between self-esteem and intention for academic drop out, while there is a positive correlation between self-esteem and satisfaction derived from the course. Results also suggested that there is no correlation between self-esteem and academic performance. Findings also revealed that there is no statistically significant correlation between loneliness and the other variables under examination. Furthermore, the results showed that there were no statistically significant differences between the examined variables in relation to the demographic features (gender, age, etc.). The findings of the present study are discussed in relation to the relevant literature, taking into consideration the blended learning educational format offered by the HOU which is based on methodologies used in other European institutions that offer distance learning courses. Finally, recommendations for further research are presented.

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