Anticipated Date of Graduation

Spring 2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Mathematical Sciences


Mathematical Sciences

First Advisor

Doug Darbro


This research study examined the utilization of academic support resources, students’ sense of belonging, and achievement levels in online and in-person sections of a workload mathematics course at UC Davis. The findings indicate that there were no significant differences in the utilization of support services between the two instructional modalities, suggesting that both modes offered similar opportunities for student engagement and learning. Additionally, no significant differences were found between online and in-person students in their overall sense of belonging at UC Davis and with classmates. However, differences were observed in specific survey questions about meeting classmates outside of class to study, obtaining notes from other students when missing class, and the difficulty of meeting other students in class. In-person students reported more positive experiences in these situations, highlighting the need to enhance social interactions and collaboration among online students. Furthermore, there were no significant differences in the change in math placement exam scores between online and in-person sections. These findings contribute to the existing literature on academic support services utilization and student belonging, suggesting the effectiveness of online support services in promoting engagement and student success. Nevertheless, it is crucial to focus efforts on improving social interaction and collaboration in online learning environments. The study acknowledges limitations, including a small sample size and low statistical power, which restrict generalizability and the ability to detect true differences between groups. However, the results offer insights for post-secondary institutions in designing academic support services that cater to students’ preferences and facilitate a sense of belonging within the campus community.