ERIC Number: EJ1076227
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 21
Challenging the "Distance Education Deficit" through "Motivational Emails"
Inkelaar, Tom; Simpson, Ormond
Open Learning, v30 n2 p152-163 2015
Graduation rates in distance higher education are low compared with full-time higher education--often less than 20% compared with full-time UK rates of around 80%--the "distance education deficit". In the University of London International Programmes, the difference between the face-to-face graduation rate of 61.5% and the distance version at 15.7% is particularly marked. A previous paper in "Open Learning" reported evidence that "proactive motivational support" to distance students had some effect on their success rates. This paper reports an attempt in the International Programmes to use proactive motivational support in the form of "motivational emails" which found an increase in retention of 2.3%. Although this increase was small, it had a positive financial return on investment to the institution. The paper suggests that motivational emails could be made more effective through the use of interactivity, nudging and priming. However, it also argues that distance student retention will always depend less on technology and more on personal human support.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Distance Education, Higher Education, Graduation Rate, Motivation Techniques, Electronic Mail, Academic Persistence, School Holding Power, Outcomes of Education, Dropouts, Cost Effectiveness, Open Universities, College Students, Experimental Groups, Control Groups, Comparative Analysis, Feedback (Response), Priming, Social Networks, Online Courses, Large Group Instruction
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom