Persistence, dropout, and the time-factor in fully online higher education: A qualitative study with first-year students

Abstract

Online higher education (OHE) continues to grow, yet its high dropout rates remain a pressing and complex problem. This research aimed at investigating and exploring how first-year, fully online OHE students experienced and managed their time and how it impacted their persistence, stop-out behavior, or withdrawal. Participants were 24 undergraduate students of both sexes who started their studies at UOC in September 2017, divided into three main profiles: persisters (students who enroll for three consecutive semesters), break (students who leave for one semester but return), and dropouts (students who do not enroll for two consecutive semesters), which generated 24 cases, based also on dedication (part- or full-time), sex, and age, for the selection of participants. Method was of a qualitative, exploratory nature, employing semi-structured in-depth interviews, which are being thematically analyzed. Preliminary results seem to point that each profile experiences time in different manners, has dissimilar time management skills, and that time-related factors represent the major issue for persistence, continuance, and dropout behavior. Such results can be relevant to inform future research, support, interventions, and evaluation.

Publicació
2019 IN3 Open Workshop for Young Researchers
Xavier, M., & Meneses, J. (2019, July 10). Persistence, dropout, and the time-factor in fully online higher education: A qualitative study with first-year students. Paper presented at the 2019 IN3 Open Workshop for Young Researchers, Castelldefels (Barcelona). https://www.uoc.edu/portal/en/agenda/2019/agenda_351.html.

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