Do Orientation Materials Help Students Successfully Complete Online Courses?

Do Orientation Materials Help Students Successfully Complete Online Courses?

Lawrence A. Tomei (Robert Morris University, USA), Holly Hagle (Robert Morris University, USA), Ashley Rineer (Robert Morris University, USA), Lisa A. Mastandrea (Robert Morris University, USA) and Jennifer Scollon (Regis University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-150-8.ch027
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OCICU is the Online Consortium of Independent Colleges and Universities and consists of five provider institutions which are located throughout the United States and Ireland. This consortium is the first of its kind to exist in distance education. The researchers wanted to understand the importance of orientation materials to successfully completing an online course taken from another institution. The review of the literature revealed several factors of teaching online that supported the position that pro-active development of orientation materials is essential to the growth and development of online learning and results in additional revenue to participating institutions. [Article copies are available for purchase from]
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Review Of The Literature

While conducting a review of expert literature concerning the correlation of member institutions orientation materials to successful course completion the following corroboration was found.

In an editorial written by Anne Gaskell (2006, p.96) in the journal Open Learning, “early formative assessment, has been identified as making an important contribution to student learning and success. More generally, early interventions by an institution have been shown to improve student retention (Yorke, 2004), particularly in Open and Distance Learning (ODL),where withdrawal tends to take place very early.”

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