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ERIC Number: EJ805069
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 47
ISSN: ISSN-0830-0445
Benchmarking Course Completion Rates: A Method with an Example from the British Columbia Open University
Giguere, Louis
Journal of Distance Education, v22 n1 p73-86 2007
We report findings on the methodological phase of a research project designed to assess the progress of the British Columbia Open University (BCOU) toward a 1997 goal of increasing distance education course completion rates to British Columbia system levels by adapting existing "off-line" courses for online delivery (a virtualization strategy). The method consists of identifying benchmarking factors statistically through the regression of 15 institutional factors on course completion rate data, and using these factors to establish "off-line" course completion rate benchmarks. Off-line courses are print-based independent study courses providing instructional support through e-mail and telephone. The second phase of the project will attempt to benchmark BCOU online courses against their off-line counterparts. The "off-line" completion rates data comprise 137 courses and 23,709 course enrolments and represent a 3-year period. Stepwise linear regression includes 8 factors and accounts for a significant amount of total variation (46.8%). The regression organizes benchmarks effectively along three Course Level and Subject Matter classification factors. We set BCOU benchmarks accordingly and compare them to the BC system. We highlight some unexpected results, including off-line completion rate benchmarks increasing over time. This suggests that BCOU's off-line courses are making their own contribution toward BCOU's goal of increasing distance education course completion rates to British Columbia system levels. (Contains 4 tables.)
Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE). 260 Dalhousie Street Suite 204, Ottawa, ON K1N 7E4, Canada. Tel: 613-241-0018; Fax: 613-241-0019; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada