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ERIC Number: EJ836873
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 32
ISSN: ISSN-1436-4522
Surviving the Shipwreck: What Makes Online Students Stay Online and Learn?
Cronje, Johannes C.; Adendorff, Debbie E.; Meyer, Salome M.; van Ryneveld, Linda
Educational Technology & Society, v9 n4 p185-193 2006
Although much is written about reasons why students drop out of online courses, little is said about what makes them stay. This article reports on an experiment whereby online students were exposed to a learning experience modelled on the US television series "Survivor." Twenty-four students were put into "tribes" and allowed to vote one another off the island at the end of each week. Students who were voted out of their tribes, were still on the course, but could no longer rely on the support of their peers. The course had a very high dropout rate, and students reported that the experience was extremely stressful. Yet there were fifteen students who completed the whole course. The question is "why?" This article identifies and discusses three aspects that contributed to the success of those who completed: The game metaphor, the roles and competencies of the facilitator, and the affective dimensions of peer support in a non-contact environment. (Contains 1 figure.)
International Forum of Educational Technology & Society. Athabasca University, School of Computing & Information Systems, 1 University Drive, Athabasca, AB T9S 3A3, Canada. Tel: 780-675-6812; Fax: 780-675-6973; 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: South Africa