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ERIC Number: ED568527
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 132
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3038-7100-9
An Examination of the Relationship between Online Learning Course Delivery Method, Sense of Community, and Learner Retention
Bianchi-Laubsch, Daniella A.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Northcentral University
Success and retention of online learners is an important issue at all online universities. In this quantitative study, the researcher examined the relationship between online learners' sense of community and retention in the online learning classroom. The problem addressed was the weakened sense of community found among online learners through the method of delivery of the online learning material. The purpose of this quantitative, correlational, nonexperimental study was to determine the sense of community that is created, the relationship of anticipated student course completion, anticipated course grades, and anticipated future enrollment in online courses, and in what ways they correlate to the type of delivery method of online learning materials with both asynchronous and synchronous delivery methods. The theoretical framework for this study was social constructivism. In this study, three research questions were examined: (a) the difference in the sense of community among learners based on method of online delivery; (b) the relationship, if any, between a perceived sense of community among online learners and their completion of online courses; (c) the perceived sense of community among online learners and its impact on student retention. All students at one online university were invited to participate in this study. An online survey was administered to participants to assess their experience with a sense of community in the online classroom, their academic success, and their retention in the online learning program. It was determined that participants from this university did not place a high importance on a sense of community nor did they experience a sense of community in their online classrooms. Participants reported high academic success and strong retention rates in their online classrooms. Future studies should focus on finding clear methods of retention of online learners and to better understand the impact of a sense of community on online learners. Overall recommendations from this study are to focus on student needs in the online classroom to create increased retention of online learners. [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: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A