Attrition Rate of Online Learning

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WHAT INFLUENCES ONLINE CLASSES HIGH ATTRITION RATE

by

Lora Hines
Bachelor of Science in Business Education
December 1984
College of Education

A Research Paper Submitted in Partial Fulfillment
of the Requirements for the
Master of Science in Education Degree

Department of Workforce Education and Development
In the Graduate School
Southern Illinois University – Carbondale
December 1, 2011

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ChapterPage
I. INTRODUCTION ……………………………………………….…………..1 Background……………………………………………………………….1 Statement of the Problem………………………………………………….6
Research Questions………………………………………………………..7
Significance of the Problem……………………………………………….7 II. REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE………………………………..…..9 Demographics…………………………………………………………….10 Best Practices……………………………………………………………..16 Student Characteristics…………………………………………………...24 III. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS…………………….…….32 Summary …...…………………………………………………………….32 Findings .………..……………………………………………………….. 33 Recommendations………………………………………………………...38 REFERENCES………………………………………………………….. 41 VITA………………………………..……………………………………52

AN ABSTRACT OF THE RESEARCH PAPER OF

Lora Hines, for the Master of Science degree in Workforce Education and Development, presented on December 1, 2011, at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.

TITLE: WHAT INFLUENCES ONLINE CLASSES HIGH ATTRITION RATE

MAJOR PROFESSOR: Glen Blackstone

Online education programs have grown tremendously in the past 10 years. From 1991 to 2006, online enrollments have grown from virtually 0 to over 2.35 million students. Over 3.5 million students, or roughly one in every six, were enrolled in at least one online course during the fall of 2006. By 2015, 25 million post-secondary students in the United States will be taking an online class. Universities worldwide are providing some type of online learning by developing courses that are available to both on-campus and off-campus students. Online education is no longer in its infancy. Students, parents, educational institutions, government, and businesses are concerned with the quality of online education. This study focuses on quality and the relationship that exists between student satisfaction and faculty effectiveness. At issue is the question of whether “faculty effectiveness, as perceived by learners, plays a significant role in learner satisfaction” (Rehnborg, 2006, p. 1). This study reveals that students of varying age, gender, and other demographics value education differently. These differences vary among completers and non-completers, and both groups note differences in the way their instructors implement instructional practices.

CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
Background
There are many definitions for online education. These include virtual education, Internet-based education, and Web-based education. For the purpose of this research, the definition of online education is based on Keegan’s (1988) definition of distance education. (a) the separation of teachers and learners which distinguishes it from face-to-face education, (b) an educational organization which distinguishes it from self-study and private tutoring, (c) the use of a computer network to present or distribute educational content, and (d) the provision of two-way communication via a computer network in order for students to benefit from communication with each other, teachers, and staff. (Keegan, 1988, p. 4)

Kaufman (as cited by Bates, 2005) suggests that there have been three generations of distance education. The first generation used one primary technology-print. The second generation integrated print and other multimedia such as video tapes, television broadcasts, and other forms of broadcast media. The third generation of distance education gave birth to online education. Online education...
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