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ERIC Number: ED444617
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Red Hot Tips: Improve Retention in Your Distance Education Courses.
Simpson, Jim; Head, Linda
The report describes both the problems faced and the strategies that have been implemented to resolve some of the problems in the Distance Learning Program at Tomball College in Texas. An examination of their Distance Education (DE) Program revealed multifaceted problems: instructor incompetence and curriculum inconsistency; student dissatisfaction with courses; and low retention level. It became evident that faculty may not have the technology application instruction, and design skills necessary to teach in a Distance Education (DE) environment. Some of the key points to resolving the problems in DE were to do the following: implement a training program for faculty and invest in it; know student characteristics such as factors of success and preference in DE modalities; and set instructor standards and track results. Training was moved to a formal setting by creating a Center for Distance Learning. The Distance Learning Center offers both a 40-hour DE program with a tuition of $1200 for non-faculty and a ten-week, online certification course with a $150 tuition. The results were positive. Retention rates improved dramatically. There was a 78.7 percent completion rate for the DE classes, and student complaints about DE course decreased by 78 percent. (JA)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the League for Innovation International Conference (Chicago, IL, October 2000).