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ERIC Number: EJ1107000
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0158-7919
Improving Course Completions in Distance Education: An Institutional Case Study
Thistoll, Tony; Yates, Anne
Distance Education, v37 n2 p180-195 2016
This article reports two studies undertaken at The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand, a vocational distance education (DE) provider, where course completion rates have risen to match those of face-to-face technical institutions. A simple model of student engagement is presented, which reflects the triality between the student, institution, and external environment. The first study investigated institutional factors, from the perspectives of staff who have contributed toward this improvement; the second study focused on student perceptions of factors that fostered engagement. Both staff and students considered helpful tutors and clear learning materials essential; as is student motivation, which is enhanced if courses are relevant and achievable. Reasons for non-completion included inappropriate course advice and competing life demands. Staff participants believed student engagement can improve with appropriate interventions, while students tended to situate the lack of engagement within themselves. Findings emphasize the triadic nature of factors relating to student engagement in DE.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A