From Cramming and Convenience to Engagement and Retention: Four Pillars of Online Course Design for Student Retention

From Cramming and Convenience to Engagement and Retention: Four Pillars of Online Course Design for Student Retention

Laura Michelle Galloway (Brandman University, USA)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2998-9.ch014
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Online learning has shown persistent and unrelenting growth over the past few years and serves a wide variety of modern educational needs. However, attrition can be a troublesome phenomenon unless course designers and instructors develop methods of engaging students through use of the Four Pillars discussed in this chapter. The strategies and tactics associated with and springing from these Pillars will go a long way in retaining students in online programs. Face-to-face instructional methods simply will not work in the online environment, and the innovative methods discussed in this chapter will yield student engagement and completion of their educational goals.
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Review Of The Literature

The introduction and projected use of technology in Higher Education challenges the traditional notions and practices of education at the University level. “Distance education enabled by e-learning is at the forefront of university participation in an increasingly connected world. Physical, temporal, cultural and educational borders are becoming both less rigid and less predictable than before” (Hedge & Hayward, 2004, p. 1). Mainstream pedagogy is and will continue to shift toward integrating online technologies and online facilitation methods (Hicks, Reid & George, 2001).

The following illustrates the trends in higher education toward the growing use of technology in higher education.

Table 1.
Trends in higher education for online learning
An Increase in Online Course Offerings A 3.9% increase in 2015 of the number of distance education students up from the 3.7% rate recorded in 2014. (Babson, 2015)
More than one in four students (28%) now take at least one distance education course (a total of 5,828,826 students, a year‐to‐year increase of 217,275). (Babson, 2015)
The percent of academic leaders rating the learning outcomes in online education as the same or superior to those in face‐to‐face instruction is now at 71.4%. (Babson, 2015)
Strategic Plans in Higher EdThe portion of chief academic leaders reporting that online learning is critical to their long-term strategy has grown from 48% in 2002 to 70.8% in 2014 (Allen & Seaman, 2013).

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