SLN Campus Research Engagement Program http://wiki.sln.suny.edu/display/SLNED/Current+Research+Projects
Study of Online Student Persistence in SUNY
Research proposal problem statement:
SUNY's DOODLE group has conducted a multi-year study of student persistence, attrition, and success with online courses. Overall, the rates of attrition are similar among the DOODLE institutions as are success rates which is interesting in itself given the institutions are often quite different in size, number of courses offered online, and in demographic make-up. SUNY and its DE faculty often consider the attrition rate outcomes to be high, and indeed, compared to research such as the National Community College Benchmark study, SUNY's rates are high - typically 5% or greater in similar categories of measurement (higher attrition = not a favorable outcome). In other words, SUNY looks normative compared 'to itself' and appears as an underperformer when compared to aggregate institutions participating in the NCCB study. (DOODLE has less than 20 institutions participating in its persistence study; NCCB has over 200.) While the reasons for such a gap may be simple, such as survey criteria being different, explaining the phenomenon is important as SUNY faculty look at 'national' outcomes and deduce (perhaps quite incorrectly) that SUNY (and their own SUNY college) are doing a bad job of both attracting and keeping students in online courses toward successful outcomes.
* The affected population are SUNY students enrolled in online and blended courses.
* The target 'population' are SUNY colleges and university centers who are members of Directors of Online and Distance Learning (DOODLE) and also any SUNY institutions that become members of DOODLE. (All offer fully online and/or blended modalities of mediated teaching and learning at course and/or program levels to enrolled students, typically using a commercial or open-source CMS/LMS platform)