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Understanding student paths in higher education blended-learning: beyond success and dropout

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Understanding	student	paths	in	
higher	education	blended-learning:
Beyond	success	and	dropout
Kalliopi	Benetos
University	...
Questions
Roughly what
proportion	of	face-to-
face students do	you
consider to	be non-
traditional?
a) 0-20%
b) 21-40%
c) ...
(Non)traditional students in	blended-learning
Non-traditional	students
• Over	25
• Geographically	distant	(off-campus)
• E...

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Understanding student paths in higher education blended-learning: beyond success and dropout

  1. 1. Understanding student paths in higher education blended-learning: Beyond success and dropout Kalliopi Benetos University of Geneva, Switzerland UniDistance (Swiss Distance University), Switzerland, kalliopi.benetos@unige.ch Laurence Gagnière University of Geneva, Switzerland laurence.gagniere@unige.ch Kalli Benetos & Laurence Gagnière
  2. 2. Questions Roughly what proportion of face-to- face students do you consider to be non- traditional? a) 0-20% b) 21-40% c) 41-60% d) 61-80% e) 81-100% Kalli Benetos & Laurence Gagnière Roughly what proportion of your blended or distance- learning students do you consider to be non- traditional? a) 0-20% b) 21-40% c) 41-60% d) 61-80% e) 81-100%
  3. 3. (Non)traditional students in blended-learning Non-traditional students • Over 25 • Geographically distant (off-campus) • Employed or constrained by other obligations or activities • Gender, ethnicity, socio-cultural background, socio- economic status, disability • enrolled in alternative programs: part-time, distance/blended learning • Admission pathway: through continuing education or other qualifications/equivalences • Previous degree Chung, Turnbull & Chur-Hansen, 2014 Kalli Benetos & Laurence Gagnière
  4. 4. Understanding student paths in higher education blended- learning: Beyond success and dropout Kalli Benetos & Laurence Gagnière + = Dropout (Xenos & al., 2002; Pierrakas & al., 2004; Lee & al., 2013; Levy, 2007) Non-traditional students Blended learning
  5. 5. Research questions 1. Are there critical moments for departures? 2. What is the degree of completion before withdrawal? 3. Are there critical (problematic) courses? Kalli Benetos & Laurence Gagnière Differences and similarities? Master Bachelor CAS
  6. 6. 3 programs, 2 institutions, 3 levels CAS e-learning (28) Students graduated Students still enrolled Students dropped out Students eliminated MALTT (118 students) Students graduated Students still enrolled Students dropped out Students eliminated BA Psychology (259 students) Students graduated Students still enrolled Students dropped out Students eliminated Master (118 students) Kalli Benetos & Laurence Gagnière
  7. 7. Enrollment duration Master Bachelor CAS Early departures Later departures 1st or 2nd semester for 2/3 Kalli Benetos & Laurence Gagnière
  8. 8. Credits earned before withdrawing Master (120 credits: 4 or 6 semesters) Bachelor (180 credits: 9 semesters) CAS (12 credits: 2-4 semesters) 71.7% 7.1% 0.5% 1.1% 0.5% 4.9% 1.6% 0.5% 2.2% 0.5% 0.5% 1.6% 0.5% 0.5% 2.2% 1.1% 0.5% 0.5% 0.5% 1.1% credits 0 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 26 30 35 36 50 51 56 66 70 82 86 120 0.0% 0.0% 11.8% 5.9% 0.0% 5.9% 17.6% 5.9% 11.8% 23.5% 17.6% 0 credits 1 credits 2 credits 3 credits 4 credits 5 credits 6 credits 7 credits 8 credits 9 credits 10 credits Kalli Benetos & Laurence Gagnière Before masters thesis and work-study 1st semester Some - 1st semester Most - before final project reporting
  9. 9. 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% M01 M02 M03 M04 M05 M06 M07 M08 M09 M10 M11 M12 M13 M17-1 M17-2 M18 Achieved Failed Missing 100.0% 99.5% 29.5% 26.2% 9.3% 8.7% 9.3% 9.3% 3.3% 4.4% 2.7% 3.8% 1.1% 2.2% 1.6% 1.1% Total Course enrollment CAS Master Bachelor 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% M1J1 M1J2 M1J3 M1J4 M1J5 TFM M2A1 M2A2 M2A3 M2A4 M2A5 M2A6 M3TFE Achieved Failed Missing 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 64.7% 70.6% 52.9% 76.5% 82.4% 64.7% 76.5% Total Kalli Benetos & Laurence Gagnière The case of the « missing students »
  10. 10. Conclusions 1. Early departures: contradict Hornik et al., 2008 § No disciplinary effect: fundamental sciences (Master / CAS) vs humanities/social sciences (BA) ➥ Need to identify and non-traditional students’ profiles Propose early support for differing profiles Kalli Benetos & Laurence Gagnière
  11. 11. Conclusions 2. No similar trends in number of credits completed before withdrawal ➥ E-learning culture § blended-learning perceived as an advantage or inconvenience (Klein et al., 2006): § Master / CAS -> development of e-learning culture is part of learning objectives § Bachelor - > unfamiliar culture, significant barrier to success Prepare/promote the development of students’ e-learning competence Kalli Benetos & Laurence Gagnière
  12. 12. Question Which of the following do your institutions offer to develop e-learning culture and skills? a) Training tutorials online b) Voluntary courses c) Digital skills certification (e.g. ECDL) or validation (badges, added credit, other?) d) Digital skills developed intentionally through course activities Kalli Benetos & Laurence Gagnière
  13. 13. Conclusions 3. Critical courses: final project never completed ➥ Non-traditional students : skills development ≠ certification § Degree not necessarily linked to academic success for non- traditional students (Karunaratne et al., 2017) Take non-traditional students’ learning goals into consideration in curriculum design Kalli Benetos & Laurence Gagnière
  14. 14. Question (open discussion) What can be done to accommodate these real-world needs within higher-education institutions? § Should they be accommodated? Why? Why not? § Should wider degree options be offered? If so what types of options? § Other questions? Kalli Benetos & Laurence Gagnière
  15. 15. Perspectives Highest early dropout in programs with high credits/course ratio ➥ dropout in first semester § 71% - 10 ECTS courses (BA Psy) § 36 % - 6 ECTS courses (MALTT) § 12% - 1 ECTS courses (CAS) Reconsider impact of course lengths and credit distributions of courses => curriculum design § favour incremental accumulation of credits rather than heavy, lengthy courses for programs aimed at non-traditional students. Kalli Benetos & Laurence Gagnière

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