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ERIC Number: ED550314
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 177
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-2677-8176-5
Student and Instructor Perceptions of Attrition in Community College Online Beginning Spanish Classes
McDonnell, Thomas
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Northcentral University
This qualitative multiple comparative case study investigated attrition in online Spanish language courses, from both instructor and student perspectives. Attrition rates in online courses have been found to be up to 50% higher than attrition rates in face to face courses, when studying the phenomenon of attrition in higher education. Attrition is of particular concern at the community college level, where attrition rates run higher than at four-year colleges and universities. Given the American Graduation Initiative is calling for improved completion rates at community colleges, there is a need to determine if students and instructors have similar perceptions regarding the attrition issue, which will help make attrition mitigation strategies more effective. Instructor and student perceptions of attrition in online Beginning Spanish classes, at Metropolitan Community College in Omaha, Nebraska, were collected through a series of semi-structured formal interviews. Eleven students, from a target population of 25 students who formally or informally withdrew from four online sections of Beginning Spanish I in fall 2011, agreed to participate in the interviews. The four instructors from the four selected sections also agreed to be interviewed. Interview responses were transcribed and coded based on the barriers to completion identified in the responses. Students most often identified dispositional barriers when asked why they were not able to complete the online course. Instructors most often identified situational barriers to account for those students who failed to complete the course. Recommendations based on these results included a call for stronger student advising and orientation prior to students enrolling in an online Spanish class and for more frequent intervention between instructor and students once the class has started. Suggestions for future research included a recommendation to determine if results from this specific case could be generalized to the community college population at large. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Nebraska