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ERIC Number: EJ861653
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Nov
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 50
ISSN: ISSN-0309-877X
Logging in and Dropping out: Exploring Student Non-Completion in Higher Education Using Electronic Footprint Analysis
Buglear, John
Journal of Further and Higher Education, v33 n4 p381-393 Nov 2009
Student retention in higher education might be prioritised by funding authorities and universities but robust measurement of non-completion is elusive. This investigation explores untapped data sources to enrich understanding of non-completion. The analysis features the main undergraduate course in a part of a large UK university with retention concerns. Three data sources were explored; Registry, course administration and electronic information systems. Discrepancies emerged in data from them, with students' electronic engagement data revealing withdrawal patterns not evident in the other sources. The departures profile revealed by the information systems data is used to conjecture association between type of departure and stage of departure drawing on time-based retention models. The analysis also draws on material from focus groups of course administrators and tutors. The results demonstrate a new way of pinpointing and quantifying non-completion over time, electronic footprint analysis, which provides an additional basis for formulating and monitoring retention strategies. While not explaining why individuals withdraw, they reveal more about when they appear more likely to do so. Using data already captured they constitute feasible means of improving retention. (Contains 2 figures and 1 table.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom