ERIC Number: ED459885
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Retention in Distance Education Telecourses and Perceptions of Faculty Contact: A Comparison of Traditional and Nontraditional Community College Students.
Gilbert, Wendy A.
This is a study of the high dropout rate in distance education courses. Early studies of this phenomenon presumed that the majority of distance education students were nontraditional students. However, this study suggests that many traditional students now participate in distance education courses, and the author examined the problem within the context of this mixed student population. The three main purposes of the study were to: (1) determine whether differences in retention rates existed between the two types of students; (2) identify any interaction effects between selected variables and the type of student; and (3) attempt to identify any differences in perception in faculty contact between completers and noncompleters. The study looked at the transcripts of all 296 students enrolled in telecourses during Tallahassee Community College's (Florida) fall semester. The author also examined 65 respondents who filled out an initial survey. These respondents were a subset of the 296 total students. Results indicated that of the students, 128 (43%) were traditional, while 168 (57%) were nontraditional. Of the traditional students, 55 were completers; of the nontraditional students, 83 were completers. The study also found that among the respondent group, the grade point average for nontraditional students was higher (2.8) than that of traditional students (2.3). Appended are the survey instruments, comparison tests, letters and forms. (Contains 59 references.) (NB)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Access to Education, Community Colleges, Comparative Analysis, Computer Mediated Communication, Distance Education, Nontraditional Education, Nontraditional Students, Online Courses, School Holding Power, Student Attrition, Two Year College Students, Withdrawal (Education)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A