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ERIC Number: EJ918570
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 10
ISSN: ISSN-1556-3847
Factors Influencing a Learner's Decision to Drop-Out or Persist in Higher Education Distance Learning
Street, Hannah
Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, v13 n4 Win 2010
Previous studies conducted on dropouts within online courses have found inconsistent factors affecting attrition. A literature review was performed, focusing on eight main studies. These studies were performed at both national and international universities. The methodology, participants, research question, and results varied by study. Overall, internal factors of self-efficacy, self-determination, autonomy, and time management along with external factors of family, organizational, and technical support were found to be significant. An additional variable of course factors, which includes course relevance and course design, was found to significantly impact learners' decisions to persist or drop an online course. These variables were incorporated into a modified version of Bandura's reciprocal causation theory, which states that each of these variables influences and is influenced by the decision of a student to persist or drop an online course. The model needs statistical testing within the context of an individual study. Further studies are also needed on course factors impacting an online student's decision to persist or drop an online course. (Contains 1 figure.)
State University of West Georgia. 1601 Maple Street, Honors House, Carrollton, GA 30118. Tel: 678-839-5489; Fax: 678-839-0636; 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