Strategies for Improving Retention in Online Learning.

Toolan, Fergus (2020) Strategies for Improving Retention in Online Learning.


This research seeks to determine if methods exist to identify students in online education who are a retention risk and to develop solutions to help prevent said students from exiting the course prematurely. In order to do this effectively, this study addresses three specific
• What data is provided by VLEs that might help educators to measure student engagement?
• To what extent are educators able to identify those students who are in danger of exiting a course prematurely in the online learning environment?
• What preventative measures are being used by educators to attempt to improve student retention in the online learning environment?
A qualitative approach is used to answer the above questions. Initially the documentation for the most popular VLEs is analysed to identify the information present that would allow educators measure student engagement. Following this online educators are interviewed in order to harness their thoughts and experiences in the identification of students who are a
retention risk. The participants are also asked about their preferred strategies for preventing the early drop out of students in online learning.
The result of this primary research is to develop a set of recommendations, both for higher education institutions, and also for educators which aid in the identification of at-risk students. Additionally recommendations are provided for strategies that can be used, both proactively and reactively, in online learning to improve student retention.

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