Beyond the Books: Building Community and Promoting Student Retention in Online Learning Environments

Carolyn N. Stevenson (Purdue University Global, USA)
Copyright: © 2010 |Pages: 265
EISBN13: 9781609602680|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-909-5.ch013
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Retention of online students is a topic of special interest in higher education. Research shows that the highest percentage of students failing or withdrawing from classes occurs the first term. There is no panacea to retaining and motivating online students. A collaborative effort by instructors, administrators, and students is needed to promote student success the first term and beyond. Building community involves fostering relationships grounded in common interests and is critical to academic success and student retention. Student activities such as clubs and organizations create a bond between student and the institution. This case study will discuss strategies for retaining and motivating online students. Topics include: curriculum initiatives, student mentoring and peer coaching, academic services for poor-performing students, community building through online student activities and websites, promotion of socialization while learning at a distance, and ideas for working with faculty on promoting student success from admissions to graduation.
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