Why Are Online Students Dropping Out? A Needs Assessment Report
Cathi Phillips, Sue-Jen Chen, Gregg Kochakji, Karen Greene, University of North Carolina at Wilmington, United States
Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference, in Atlanta, GA, USA ISBN 978-1-880094-52-5 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Chesapeake, VA
The University of North Carolina Wilmington developed and delivered WebU@UNCW (WebU) to address the needs of individuals pursuing professional or personal development. According to WebU's director, the university expects an 85% completion rate for these non-credit courses. During WebU's first thirty months, only 68% of participants enrolled met the requirements for completion. A needs assessment was conducted to find out the causes of the problem and solutions to bridge the gap. Allison Rosset's Training Needs Assessment model was employed to guide the process. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected and analyzed. Findings revealed that most participants had positive attitudes regarding WebU, but time required to complete courses was the major factor contributing to dropping out. Solutions included restructuring WebU courses to emphasize and manage time requirement expectations through course descriptions, e-mail, course announcements, and online orientation.
Phillips, C., Chen, S.J., Kochakji, G. & Greene, K. (2004). Why Are Online Students Dropping Out? A Needs Assessment Report. In R. Ferdig, C. Crawford, R. Carlsen, N. Davis, J. Price, R. Weber & D. Willis (Eds.), Proceedings of SITE 2004--Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (pp. 3001-3006). Atlanta, GA, USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).