NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED567276
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 145
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3037-7102-6
Student Perceptions of Online Learning and Persistence for Course Completion
Snyder, Jill
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Walden University
This qualitative case study was designed to explore students' perceptions of online learning at a small rural community college to understand what factors impacted their persistence in coursework. The research problem dealt with retention rates in online courses, which were lower than in face-to-face courses. Despite extensive quantitative research, effective strategies to reduce online attrition have remained lacking. The research questions followed the community of inquiry (CoI) model as the conceptual framework, which included cognitive, teaching, and social elements. In this study, 10 online students were purposefully selected and individually interviewed using a semistructured format. From the coding and theme analysis of the transcribed interviews, 6 themes emerged: student engagement, faculty engagement, communication, social integration, motivation, and indicators of barriers. The results revealed an interactive nature of the CoI elements in a dynamic online environment. The CoI components were evident in complex patterns highlighting the need to incorporate the CoI model in curricular planning. The results revealed factors that contributed to online success as well as factors that contributed to dis-enrollment or created significant challenges for online students. These findings resulted in a white paper project that will be disseminated to the campus community with the purpose of initiating a collaborative process to identify pedagogical practices and policy changes to improve retention rates. This study may promote positive social change locally by improving online retention rates, thus leading toward increased degree completions. Students completing degrees may be better able to obtain jobs in their desired fields and reduce the gap in the labor market demands. [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:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A