Attrition in the digital age: reminders from the literature

Reed, Kate and Wise, Nathan and Tynan, Belinda and Bossu, Carina (2013) Attrition in the digital age: reminders from the literature. In: Outlooks and opportunities in blended and distance learning. Advances in Mobile and Distance Learning . IGI Publishing (IGI Global), Hershey, PA. United States, pp. 279-293. ISBN 9781466642058

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Abstract

Distance education (learning and teaching by distance modes of information exchange) is often characterised by having higher attrition rates (often labelled as 'drop-out' or 'withdrawal') compared to traditional face-to-face (or 'on-campus') education. It has been claimed that no area of research in distance education has received more attention; such is the concern surrounding attrition. This chapter suggests that a holistic understanding of the numerous, complex, and interlinked factors that may contribute to a learner choosing to discontinue their studies continues to elude researchers. Furthermore, attrition may not always be a negative outcome; for example, a learner may have achieved the desired skill set from their studies. In the current higher education climate it is imperative for universities to maintain student enrolments. Attrition directly impacts upon wasted expenditure and loss of revenue for an institution. Additionally, withdrawing from tertiary studies can have consequences for the distance learner. This chapter explores underlying concerns and identify key questions and gaps regarding attrition in distance education for the digital age.


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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to paper published version due to publisher copyright policy.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Distance and e-Learning Centre
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2013 01:36
Last Modified: 29 Aug 2016 01:23
Uncontrolled Keywords: distance education; online learning; student withdrawal; failure rates; Australia
Fields of Research : 13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130306 Educational Technology and Computing
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170103 Educational Psychology
13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130103 Higher Education
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930203 Teaching and Instruction Technologies
Identification Number or DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4205-8.ch020
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/23801

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