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Motivating and Retaining Online Students Research-Based Strategies that Work

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2013-10-21
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass

Note: Supplemental materials are not guaranteed with Rental or Used book purchases.

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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


Finally, the first research-based book of sound strategies and best practices to help instructors motivate students to complete their online courses.

Although studies support the effectiveness of learning online, students often fail to complete online courses. Some studies have found that as many as 50–70% drop out of their online courses or programs. Retention is not only a growing expectation and imperative, but it is also as opportunity for faculty members to take the lead in innovating, researching, and implementing new strategies while demonstrating their effectiveness.

Designed for instructors and instructional designers, Motivating and Retaining Online Students is filled with empirical research from the authors’ study of motivation and retention strategies that can reduce online learner dropout. Focusing on the most important issues instructors face, such as course design; student engagement and motivation; and institutional, instructional, and informal student support strategies, the book provides effective online strategies that help minimize student dropout, increase student retention, and support student learning.

While helping to improve the overall retention rates for educational institutions, the strategies outlined in the book also allow for student diversity and individual learner differences. Lehman and Conceição’s proven model gives instructors an effective approach to help students persist in online courses and succeed as learners.

Author Biography

Rosemary M. Lehman worked with University of Wisconsin—Extension for more than 20 years and is now an author, online instructor, and partner in eInterface. Simone C. O. Conceição is a professor in the School of Education, Department of Administrative Leadership, at University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee.

They are the authors of Managing Online Instructor Workload and Creating a Sense of Presence in Online Teaching both from Jossey-Bass.

Table of Contents

List of Tables, Exhibits, and Figure ix

Preface xi

The Focus of This Book xii

Who Can Benefit from This Book xii

Our Beliefs About Learning and Teaching xii

How This Book Is Organized xiii

Acknowledgments xiv

About the Authors xvii

1. Concerns and Opportunities for Online Student Retention 1

Evolving Concepts of Presence, Communication, and Interaction 1

Redefining the Characteristics of the Higher Education Learner 2

New Ways of Learning 2

Causes for Increased Enrollment 3

The State of Higher Education and Online Learning 4

Concerns for Online Student Retention 5

Reasons Online Students Drop Out 5

Factors for Student Persistence in Online Education 7

Opportunities for Online Education 10

New Learner Behaviors and Skills in the 21st Century 11

Filling the Gap: Strategies for Online Persistence 14

2. Design Strategies for Retaining Online Students 17

Intentional Design for Online Courses 19

Design Elements and Strategies to Help Students Stay Motivated Online 20

Creating the Learning Environment 20

Planning for the Teaching Process 25

Predicting Learners’ Needs 30

The Impact of Intentional Design for Online Course Success 32

Design Strategies for Retaining Online Students 34

3. Student Strategies for Staying Motivated Online 38

Pathway and Strategies for Staying Motivated in Online Courses 38

Self-Awareness 39

Self-Efficacy 40

A Purpose for Taking a Course 41

Means to Achieve Goals 42

Rewards for Achieving Goals 53

Explaining Study Findings from a Motivational Perspective 56

Incorporating Student Strategies into Course Design 59

4. Support Strategies for Helping Online Students Persist 65

Types of Support Perceived as Important by Students 66

Human Resource Support 66

Institutional Support 69

Self-Care 70

Support Strategies for Helping Online Students Persist 71

Instructional Support Strategies 72

Institutional Support Strategies 75

Self-Care Strategies 80

5. Pulling the Strategies Together 83

Established Findings Related to Online Student Retention 84

Major Contributions from Our Study 84

New Ways of Th inking About Learning and Teaching 86

Persistence Model for Online Student Retention 87

Student-Centered Model 88

Strategies for Helping Students Persist in an Online Course 89

Times of Change for Learning in the 21st Century 94

Instructors’ Skills for Meeting Students’ 21st-Century Fluencies 95

Implications and Conclusions for Learning and Teaching Online 104

Glossary 107

References 111

Appendix 1 117

Appendix 2 127

Index 135


Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

The Used, Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

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