Using Digital Communities to Enhance Student Persistence and Retention

Charles S. Layne (University of Houston, USA), Rebecca E. Lee (University of Houston, USA), Daniel P. O’Connor (University of Houston, USA), Catherine L. Horn (University of Houston, USA), and Brian K. McFarlin (University of Houston, USA)
Copyright: © 2010 |Pages: 153
EISBN13: 9781616921538|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-878-9.ch009
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Achieving student persistence and retention at the University of Houston has often been a challenge for the university. This chapter concerns using Second Life to develop a digital community of students from a single academic department to enhance student persistence toward graduation. It was postulated that the development of a digital community could strengthen the social cohesion of the students and thereby promote academic persistence. Students joined Second Life voluntarily or as part of their course requirements and then were invited to participate in various social and educational activities led by their classmates. The amount of time spent in Second Life was tracked and will be compared to academic performance.
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