about good practices and sound policies that accelerate the effective adoption and use of technologies in teaching and learning.
WCET Focus Area: Student Retention
From the earliest days of correspondence study and distance education, student retention in technology-mediated courses has been an on-going concern. Adapting to new technologies, unfamiliar teaching techniques, and the need for exceptional self-discipline often lead to course retention rates that were much lower than of similar on-campus courses. Results have been positive as faculty have adapted their techniques, students became more familiar with this mode of instruction, and student support services improved.
WCET is working to amass resources and recommend good practices for student retention strategies in e-learning higher education programs.
WCET Student Retention Activities
WCET's Student Retention Common Interest Group
The group is focusing on retention within online courses and programs. Retention is not one person's, or one group's responsibility within an institution. It is everyone's responsibility. The Student Retention CIG is collecting information on promising practices and interventions, research articles to inform the WCET community, and sponsoring other activities to stimulate a dialogue about course development, faculty, and student services and other strategies that encourage student persistence within online courses and distance programs. Come join us.
Student Retention Sponsored Webcasts
- Learning Analytics: The Future is NOW! May 11, 2011, 4:00pm ET, featuring Deb Everhart, Blackboard, Inc.; John Fritz, University of Maryland, Baltimore County; and Phil Ice, American Public University System.
- Building "Community" among Online Faculty to Enhance Student Achievement. September 13, 2011.
WCET Annual Meeting
The 2011 WCET Annual Meeting's (Denver, CO; Oct. 26-28, 2011) numerous sessions on retention including:
- Student Retention CIG Meeting.
- Learning Analytics: Effective Practices.
- Can You See It?
- Data Driven in Everyday Education.
- Helping Students with 24/7 Online Tutoring.
- Using Online Supplemental Instruction.
- Using Analytics to Increase Student Success.
- A New Way to Count the Beans.
- Touching the Future: iPads in College Curriculum.
Student Retention Resources
Tinto's Model of Student Retention: is a commonly referenced model in student retention/dropout research.
NCCBP: National Community College Benchmark Project: NCCBP is subscription based but provides community colleges with opportunities to report outcome and effectiveness data in critical performance areas, receive reports of benchmarks, and compare results with those of other colleges.
Community of Inquiry: A study introduced that constitutes three elements essential to an educational experience: Cognitive Presence, Social Presence, and Teaching Presence.
Northern Arizona University's Quality Checklist: This checklist is to help online faculty improve the quality of their course and most are focused around the communication with their students.
Following the Mobile Student: Can We Develop the Capacity for a Comprehensive Database to Assess Student Progression? National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, April 2003
Where's Walter? Adjunct Outreach Strategies to Bridge the Virtual Distance and Increase Student Retention. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration XII (II) (2009).
The National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS) is a nonprofit organization that works to improve strategic decision making in higher education. NCHEMS conducts research to help states become more efficient and effective. The NCHEMS Information Center website is an extensive resource for state by state statistical comparisons including data on retention and graduation rates. See how your state doing in terms of retention.
College Board Study on Student Retention: This website provides a summary of conference papers and presentations, special reports and publications, and related works regarding student retention in higher education.
In 2009, WCET presented a webcast on Innovations in Online Student Retention. The panelists discussed where and how online courses and programs lose students and what can be done to help prevent attrition. View this archive to learn with Christine Lustik, Western Wyoming Community College; David Cillay, Washington State University; Jurgen Hilke, Frederick Community College; and Vernon Smith, Rio Salado College.
"Using Learner Readiness to Improve Online Student Retention" Slideshare presentation from WCET's Annual Meeting.