Posts Tagged ‘increasing online student retention’
One of the first and most difficult tasks an online instructor faces is how to establish the presence of a learning community. Learning in isolation may be possible, but it’s neither enjoyable nor complete, and many online students end up quitting or failing the course simply because they miss the classmate support that is readily available in face-to-face classes. To ignore the importance of peer learning and personal connection in any classroom, including those in which participants might not physically meet, is to deny the significance of social interaction in learning.
Which online instructor characteristics help students succeed? It’s a rather basic question that has not been adequately answered. We did a literature search to find if anybody had done any research from the students’ perspective on what constitutes a quality online instructor. There were perhaps 10 articles by professors speculating about what they thought defined quality online instruction, but nobody had asked students.
March 22 - Understanding the Online Learning Experience
Barbara Zuck, assistant professor of business at Montana State University–Northern, was teaching a 100-level online course in business leadership and wanted to understand her students’ experiences in the course. So at the end of the course she asked students three open-ended questions:
March 15 - Balancing Act: Managing Instructor Presence and Workload When Creating an Interactive Community of Learners
Increasingly, online educators are faced with two key directives that are critical for student success and retention: increasing instructor presence and building a community of learners.
The college student experience, even for graduate students, is much more than course assignments, so why is it that the online learner’s experience is often limited to logging in, reading assignments and posting on the discussion board?
The world of student learning is growing rapidly. Are your student services keeping pace? This seminar explains the unique needs of the online student population, and how you can best structure your student services to meet them.
End-of-course evaluations, conducted properly, can serve as valuable tools for improving online programs, but they’re not without their drawbacks.
“One of the problems is current students benefit little from the end-of-course surveys,” said Phil Ice, EdD, associate vice president of research and development at American Public University System. “Whenever you’re measuring what the student thinks of the course or their perceived learning, instructor performance, the way assets are utilized, you’re capturing that information retrospectively. So you’re not really helping the students who are engaged right now.”
Given the success of First-Year Experience programs in retaining traditional students, it’s reasonable to assume they could have the same impact on distance learners. The question is: How do you do it? This seminar will provide you with best practices and insights to help you increase nontraditional student engagement.
November 18 - Preparing Your Online Students for the Tough Weeks Ahead
Our courses are rolled out to online students with assignments scheduled for each week. Some of these assignments are relatively easy, meaning there will be weeks that are “light” in terms of scheduled assignments, while others will be “killer” weeks because of especially difficult assignments and/or a large number of assignments. While you need to prepare students to do all the assignments, it is especially important that you pre-assist them for those killer weeks. If you don’t do this, their anxiety can markedly increase, their involvement in and enthusiasm for the course can decrease, and you can lose them altogether.
Retention is a very important issue in higher education right now. It is not difficult to understand why, when you look at the budget constraints most postsecondary schools are currently facing.