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The Development, Validation, and Application of the "Doctoral Student Connectedness Scale"

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Internet and Higher Education Volume 12, Number 2, ISSN 1096-7516


Student attrition from distance and limited-residency doctoral programs is significantly higher than that from traditional programs. The focus of this paper is the development and application of a survey instrument, the “Doctoral Student Connectedness Scale”, designed to identify students at risk of dropout. The study focused exclusively on students currently working on their dissertations with results indicating that low feelings of student-to-student and student-to-faculty connectedness in the learning environment may be predictive of departure from the program. This study supports the work of Lovitts (2001) and others who have also recognized connectedness as an integral part of the dissertation experience. Recommendations are made for addressing these issues through various initiatives that administrators, faculty, and students can support including the design and development of a doctoral student community of practice (CoP). (Contains 3 tables.)


Terrell, S.R., Snyder, M.M. & Dringus, L.P. (2009). The Development, Validation, and Application of the "Doctoral Student Connectedness Scale". Internet and Higher Education, 12(2), 112-116. Retrieved January 17, 2019 from .

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Cited By

  1. Development and validation of the Online Student Connectedness Survey (OSCS)

    Doris Bolliger, University of Wyoming; Fethi Inan, Texas Tech University

    The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning Vol. 13, No. 3 (May 22, 2012) pp. 41–65

  2. Improving Doctoral Candidates’ Persistence in the Online Dissertation Process

    Amanda Szapkiw, Liberty University, United States

    Global Learn 2011 (Mar 28, 2011) pp. 1162–1166

  3. Preparing for Doctoral Supervision at a Distance: Lessons from Experience

    Peter Albion & Ronel Erwee, University of Southern Queensland, Australia

    Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2011 (Mar 07, 2011) pp. 82–89

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