ERIC Number: ED472473
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002-Jun
Success in Cyberspace: Student Retention in Online Courses. AIR 2002 Forum Paper.
Moore, Kathleen; Bartkovich, Jeffrey; Fetzner, Marie; Ison, Sherrill
This study addressed the relative dearth of data on student retention in distance education through archival and survey data on student retention in online courses at a large, comprehensive community college in the Northeast. The college's online program had been active for 5 years, and at the time of the study, encompassed nearly 4,000 student registrations in more than 200 online courses each year. Archival data included records for the past 3 years for "attendance" in class and class performance. A student survey was designed to be administered to students who had received an "F" or "W" (withdrawal) in an online class within the past academic year. Responses were received from 71 usable survey responses from the initial sample of 500 students. The archival and survey data provided insight into the nature of student retention in online courses at a large community college. The study also provides evidence in support of the 4-factor model of barriers to success in distance education courses proposed by M. Garland (1993). Some factors that appear to have negative impact on a student's chances for completing an online course successfully include: (1) large course load; (2) lack of experience in higher education in general; (3) lack of experience with online courses; (4) busy lives outside of school; (5) young age; and (6) lack of easy access to computers. Study findings are being used to inform practice through a comprehensive institutional pilot process. (Contains 23 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Forum for the Association for Institutional Research (42nd, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, June 2-5, 2002).