INCREASING ONLINE STUDENT ENGAGEMENT AND RETENTION THROUGH ONLINE HUMAN TOUCH
Drexel University (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Conference name: 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2011
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:Shifting economic and demographic factors are leading to increased online enrollments nationally and internationally. However, online student attrition still remains higher than traditional on-campus enrollments. Therefore, the long-term sustainability of online degree programs is highly dependent upon student engagement and retention. With increasing numbers of non-traditional students returning to higher education through online programs, it’s critical that institutions personalize the online experience and develop strategies to bring the campus to this growing student market. This session examines the conceptual framework of Online Human Touch and the importance of bringing the campus to online students to increase engagement and retention. The session provides strategies for utilizing new technologies to optimize student support services by integrating them into courses and programming to increase student success. This session also showcases Drexel University's Online First-Year Experience developed for the Master of Science in Higher Education program. This session will: a) highlight economic/demographic factors driving online student enrollments; b) present a conceptual framework for Online Human Touch; c) share strategies to increase student engagement through Online First-Year Experience and by integrating support services into courses and programming; d) showcase technologies for increasing student engagement (Blackboard, Wimba and Adobe Connect); and e) present student data from the past five years supporting Online Human Touch and the Online First-Year Experience.
Keywords: Online education, distance education, engagement, retention, attrition, online human touch.