C. Changchit and T. Klaus. International Journal of Information and Communication Technology Education, Volume 4, Issue 1, 2008.
This brief article sheds a light on some intuitive ideas around students' preferences and attitudes for online learning and how these can directly affect retention in online courses at the university level.
Based on ten hypothesis from gender, to distance from educational institutions, to sense of ease with online courses, usefulness and experience with previous online learning experiences, the article sets to state few important points, some of which are highlighted below:
- students who enroll in online course perceive them to be very useful
- students in online courses have usually had previous experiences learning online
- students how are employed prefer online deliveries
- students in online courses feel the technology is easy to master
The article reaffirms something we have already discussed at length previously on this blog and that is the fact that institutions need to consider all implications of offering online options and that this is usually not a cheap move in the long run. However, matching course offerings and flexibility to students' needs and perceived needs and attitudes can increase participation and retention numbers.
A quote worth keeping in mind:
It is important that institutions conduct a prior assessment of students' attitudes toward online courses in order to make an optimum course for the institution as well as its participants. (page 35)