"Because online learning presents unique challenges for not only learners but faculty and administrators as well, those involved in these cyber-environments must think beyond the boundaries of the traditional classroom. This study examined the perceptions of online persistence factors, those characteristics which influence student retention, as seen by the three major stakeholders in community college distance education programs: administrators, faculty, and students. The purpose of the study was to determine which factors are most important among the three groups and where those perceptions converge since lack of convergence could be a factor resulting in high attrition rates of some online courses. While the results of this study indicated that the perceptions of administrators and faculty are more closely aligned than either is with the students' perceptions, they also show a recognition among all groups of stakeholders of online learning as an evolving phenomenon which requires attention to even the most minute details which are sometimes overlooked, not emphasized, or taken for granted. This recognition indicates a necessary paradigm shift, which will lead to improvements in online learning policy, design, and pedagogy, is in the making. "Esto sugiere que existen factores que se deben tomar en consideración por los administradores y facultativos, al desarrollar nuevas iniciativas y fortalecer las existentes, para la retención de estudiantes. Aunque el estudio se realiza en instituciones superiores de 2 años, lo s resultados aplican a instituciones de educación superio que ofrecen grados subgraduados o graduados en modlaidades en lînea, Los grupos estudiados (administradores, facultativos y estudiantes) identifican los siguientes diez facotores como los más importantes de acuerdo con su percepción para influir sobre la retención.
Acceder a estudio aquí para tabla.
Entre las actividades que sugieren en el estudio se deben realizar para mantener una alta retención se encuentran
"the allocation of funds for technology upgrades and technology support personnel to professional development programs for new and veteran online faculty. Training for college personnel should include attention to principles of adult learning and best practices for online learning. These would include course development strategies which emphasize the need for less rigid, more flexible scheduling options within the courses and careful selection of course activities to eliminate those events which constitute busy work and do not directly impact student learning. Institutions could also use this information as the impetus to ascertain that online students have the same access to resources and student services (i.e., library services, bookstores, financial aid, counseling, etc.) that on-campus students have and that these students are served efficiently. "Cabe destacar que el ofrecer servicios de apoyo en línea se deben considerar con prioridad mejorar la probabilidad de éxito del estudiante.
MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, Vol. 4, No. 1, March 2008
Denise E. Stanford-Bowers
Wallace Community College
Dothan, AL USA