Friday, 9 November 2012

How would they choose? Online student preferences for advance course information

an article by James Marshall, Heather Greenberg and Patricia A. Machun (San Diego State University, USA) published in Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning Volume 27 Issue 3 (November 2012)


Nearly 30% of higher education students now take at least one online course in which the instructor and students are physically separated and electronic means are used to facilitate the learning experience.

“Anytime, anywhere” is a powerful draw that prompts students to seek online learning experiences. Yet with an attrition rate between 10 and 20% higher than traditional courses, how can universities ensure online course success?

While significant research has investigated attrition, little if any has examined preventing attrition through effective course selection. Students enrolled in a completely online graduate programme in educational technology responded to a survey designed to record preferences for advance online course information – including visual representation of that information.

Respondents rated collaboration, necessary synchronous attendance, and total time invested by prior students, as priority relative to their decisions about enrolling in an online course.

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