Student help-seeking attitudes and behaviors in a digital era

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33 Citations (Scopus)


This study examines college students’ attitudes and habits for seeking academic help. Students preferences for seeking academic help via digital and non-digital technologies are identified (N = 438). Students’ attitudes about seeking help are also analyzed. Factor analysis results indicate six attitudinal factors motivated students to seek help from peers and instructors: students’ perceived usefulness of their peers; trust of peers; their perception of instructors; preference to work independently; overall perception of the course; and, perceived threat (i.e. sense of vulnerability about their ability). Overwhelmingly, students prefer to seek help from classmates rather than instructors. Due to the cohort model of the programs –where students take all or most their courses with the same students throughout the program– they seek help more in person than via using digital resources (texting, social media). Multiple linear regression analysis indicates that perceived threat, perception of instructors, and students’ preference to work independently, are significant in predicting whether students sought help from instructors outside of class. Implications of these findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number17
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec. 2018


  • Help-seeking
  • Learning strategies
  • Student motivations


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