Fostering retention in Online Higher Education: Students' perceptions of an intervention addressing their first-year experience

Abstract

Dropout represents one of the greatest challenges faced by online higher education. This paper presents an institutional intervention aimed at fostering retention and success of first-year undergraduate students at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC), an online and open university, through measures addressing learning design and academic support. Secondly, through analyzing in-depth interviews with first-year students, the paper explores their perception of intervention measures and their possible advantages or risks. Results indicate that time-related factors represent the major issue for persistence and continuance. Intervention measures such as personalized course packages which prevent overlapping of submission deadlines; flexibility in continuous assessment; and personalized support and academic advising were valued highly by most students. Future retention interventions in open universities are also discussed.

Publication
European Distance and E-Learning Network (EDEN) Proceedings of the 2020 Annual Conference: Human and artificial intelligence for the society of the future (pp. 389-397)
Xavier, M., & Meneses, J. (2020). Fostering retention in Online Higher Education: Students’ perceptions of an intervention addressing their first-year experience. In S. K. Softic, D. Andone, & A. Szucs (Eds.), European Distance and E-Learning Network (EDEN) Proceedings of the 2020 Annual Conference: Human and artificial intelligence for the society of the future. Inspiring digital education for the next STE(A)M student generation (pp. 389-397). Budapest: European Distance and E-Learning Network. ISSN: 2707-2819. http://femrecerca.cat/meneses/publication/fostering-retention-online-higher-education-students-perceptions-intervention-addressing-first-year-experience

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Marlon Xavier
Marlon Xavier
Investigador doctoral

Investigador doctoral del programa d’Educació i TIC de la UOC.

Julio Meneses
Julio Meneses
Professor agregat

Professor de metodologia de la investigació, investigador de l’Internet Interdisciplinary Institute i responsable de la Unitat d’Avaluació de Projectes Institucionals de l’eLearn Center de la UOC.

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