Online Course  Completion RatesBarry DahlDesire2Learn Community Manager
Desire2Learn Community
This Webinar                     A• Completion Rates for  Online Courses         F    Our        B• What are the          ...
What’s the Buzz?
Weekly News Articles
CCRC Reports: Washington & Virginiahttp://ccrc.tc.columbia.edu/Publication.asp?UID=872
CCRC Reports: Washington & VirginiaWashington State community and technical colleges in the fall of 2004.Students were tra...
Say What?• “slightly but significantly less likely”• Translation … “I’m really, really sure  that there is a very small di...
CCRC Makes Big Headlineshttp://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/online-community-college-students-more-likely-fail-withdraw...
CCRC Makes Big Headlines http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/07/19/study_finds_higher_dr opout_rates_for_community_col...
Can’t Sleep? Read Some Comments  http://chronicle.com/article/Why-Are-So-Many-Students-Still/127584/
The Author Asks“But isnt it time that we had an honest national conversationabout online learning? With countless studiess...
1 of 126 Comments• Online education will be big in America, because  thats what we do: we take sublime and  beautiful Euro...
Where’s the Data?
U of Central Florida• Center for Distributed Learning  – On the average, fully online courses have    slightly lower succe...
U. North Texas – Spring 2007• Definitions make a difference:• Completion: finished the course –  received a grade other th...
U. North Texas – Spring 2007                   Undergraduates (n=7,730)    Success                               74%     o...
UIS (Springfield) Online Course Data                      Completion %                                                    ...
Bellevue CC Online Course Success    http://www.sbctc.edu/docs/data/stdt_success_retention_    in_online_courses_bcc.pdf
What are theExpectations?
Expectations of Success Rates?  On-ground Success               25%  75%     A,B,C   D,F,W
Expectations of Success Rates?  On-ground Success    Online Success                Equal?               25%               ...
Expectations of Success Rates?  On-ground Success    Online Success  75%             WHY?               25%               ...
Why, indeed. For example…• Do we expect that every math  instructor will have the same  success rates?
Why, indeed. For example…• Do we expect that the  accounting program and the  art program will have the same  success rates?
Why, indeed. For example…• Do we expect that the urban  community college and the  rural community college will  have the ...
LSC – 3 yrs – Developmental CoursesPassing Grades: A,B,C                             67.8%   70%                     60.9%...
Demographics Differences? Gender On-Campus   Gender Online           50%              68%    50%                       32%...
More Differences?  On-Campus Ages      Online Ages            35%               49%   65%                51%   24 & ↓   25...
First-time Learners?Each term, how manystudents are sitting ina F2F (traditional)classroom for the veryfirst time?•       ...
First-time Learners?Each term, how many       Each term, how manystudents are sitting in   online students area F2F (tradi...
Instructors?• Do we expect that the new online  instructors will have the same  success rates as experienced  online instr...
Typical “Learning Curve”90%    Success Rates – New Online Instructors80%                                            Instru...
Fair Comparison?   On-Ground       Online    Success     Rates               =   Success                    Rates
Fair Comparison?               =
Fair Comparison?    Course   Withdrawal   =    Academic                    Non-success
A Perspective from David Diaz• “However, I believe that many online students  who drop a class may do so because it is the...
A Perspective from David Diaz• “Thus, by dropping the class, they may be  making a mature, well-informed decision that is ...
What to doAbout It?
Potential Good Practices• To help improve completion/success rates, consider  the following:  –   Required new student ori...
More Potential Good Practices• To help improve completion/success rates, consider  the following:  – Require interaction -...
One Example Shorter Course Lengths
Why Don’t Adult Students Persist?• From the Maricopa CC System:  – 10% due to academic reasons such as course too    hard ...
Example of Life InterruptionPsychology Psychology Psychology                        12 Weeks                              ...
Alternate Outcome                                                                           12 Weeks                      ...
Alternate Outcome #2                                               12 Weeks                                               ...
LSC – FY2010 – All Online Courses                  26.2%   3.00         2.9330%       20.7%           2.90                ...
A Final Thought      Focus on What’s         Important
Change the Perspective           Online Students                           25%            75%       Successful   Non-succe...
Change the PerspectiveThose who need    Online Studentsonline learningfor access                       25%                ...
Change the Perspective               Online Students                               25%                  40%               ...
Q&A  Online Course  Completion RatesBarry DahlDesire2Learn Community Manager
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Barry Dahl: Online Course Completion

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Barry Dahl: Online Course Completion

  1. 1. Online Course Completion RatesBarry DahlDesire2Learn Community Manager
  2. 2. Desire2Learn Community
  3. 3. This Webinar A• Completion Rates for Online Courses F Our B• What are the Grade? expectations, and D C why? Or• How are we doing? Incomplete?
  4. 4. What’s the Buzz?
  5. 5. Weekly News Articles
  6. 6. CCRC Reports: Washington & Virginiahttp://ccrc.tc.columbia.edu/Publication.asp?UID=872
  7. 7. CCRC Reports: Washington & VirginiaWashington State community and technical colleges in the fall of 2004.Students were tracked for nearly five years, until the spring of 2009 “students were more likely to fail or withdraw from online courses than from face-to-face courses”“were slightly but significantly less likely to attain aneducational award or transfer to a four-year institution” http://ccrc.tc.columbia.edu/Publication.asp?UID=872
  8. 8. Say What?• “slightly but significantly less likely”• Translation … “I’m really, really sure that there is a very small difference.”
  9. 9. CCRC Makes Big Headlineshttp://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/online-community-college-students-more-likely-fail-withdraw-11581
  10. 10. CCRC Makes Big Headlines http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/07/19/study_finds_higher_dr opout_rates_for_community_college_students_who_take_online_courses
  11. 11. Can’t Sleep? Read Some Comments http://chronicle.com/article/Why-Are-So-Many-Students-Still/127584/
  12. 12. The Author Asks“But isnt it time that we had an honest national conversationabout online learning? With countless studiesshowing success rates in online courses of only50 per cent—as opposed to 70-to-75 percent forcomparable face-to-face classes— isnt it time we askedourselves some serious questions? Such as: Should everycourse be taught online? And should we allow every student—or any student who wishes to—to take online courses?”
  13. 13. 1 of 126 Comments• Online education will be big in America, because thats what we do: we take sublime and beautiful European classics and turn them into pablum. We took Belgian ales and made Miller Lite, we turned Neapolitan pizza into Dominoes, Pasta became Spaghetti Os, and fresh French baguettes became Wonder bread.• Well do the same with school, because thats what we do. http://chronicle.com/article/Why-Are-So-Many-Students- Still/127584/#comment-210104173
  14. 14. Where’s the Data?
  15. 15. U of Central Florida• Center for Distributed Learning – On the average, fully online courses have slightly lower success rates and higher withdrawal rates than either their face-to-face or Web-enhanced counterparts – http://cdl.ucf.edu/research/rite/dl-impact- evaluation/#Success
  16. 16. U. North Texas – Spring 2007• Definitions make a difference:• Completion: finished the course – received a grade other than a W or I. (A,B,C,D,F)• Success: is defined as earning a grade of A, B, or C for an undergraduate course.
  17. 17. U. North Texas – Spring 2007 Undergraduates (n=7,730) Success 74% online Success 80% on-campus Completion 93% online Completion 95% on-campus 0% 50% 100%
  18. 18. UIS (Springfield) Online Course Data Completion % CompareSummer 07 To 96% Spring 07 On Campus Fall 06Summer 06 Spring 06 Fall 05 90% 91% 92% 93% 94% 95% http://online.uis.edu/info/completion.html
  19. 19. Bellevue CC Online Course Success http://www.sbctc.edu/docs/data/stdt_success_retention_ in_online_courses_bcc.pdf
  20. 20. What are theExpectations?
  21. 21. Expectations of Success Rates? On-ground Success 25% 75% A,B,C D,F,W
  22. 22. Expectations of Success Rates? On-ground Success Online Success Equal? 25% 25% 75% 75% A,B,C D,F,W A,B,C D,F,W
  23. 23. Expectations of Success Rates? On-ground Success Online Success 75% WHY? 25% 75% 25% A,B,C D,F,W A,B,C D,F,W
  24. 24. Why, indeed. For example…• Do we expect that every math instructor will have the same success rates?
  25. 25. Why, indeed. For example…• Do we expect that the accounting program and the art program will have the same success rates?
  26. 26. Why, indeed. For example…• Do we expect that the urban community college and the rural community college will have the same success rates?
  27. 27. LSC – 3 yrs – Developmental CoursesPassing Grades: A,B,C 67.8% 70% 60.9% 65% 58.5% 60% 55% 50% Online Day Night
  28. 28. Demographics Differences? Gender On-Campus Gender Online 50% 68% 50% 32% Male Female Male Female
  29. 29. More Differences? On-Campus Ages Online Ages 35% 49% 65% 51% 24 & ↓ 25 & ↑ 24 & ↓ 25 & ↑
  30. 30. First-time Learners?Each term, how manystudents are sitting ina F2F (traditional)classroom for the veryfirst time?• Est. < 1%
  31. 31. First-time Learners?Each term, how many Each term, how manystudents are sitting in online students area F2F (traditional) “sitting” in an onlineclassroom for the very classroom for thefirst time? very first time?• Est. < .01% • Est. >= 40%
  32. 32. Instructors?• Do we expect that the new online instructors will have the same success rates as experienced online instructors?
  33. 33. Typical “Learning Curve”90% Success Rates – New Online Instructors80% Instructor 1 Intsructor 270% Instructor 360% Term 1 Term 2 Term 3 Term 4 Term 5
  34. 34. Fair Comparison? On-Ground Online Success Rates = Success Rates
  35. 35. Fair Comparison? =
  36. 36. Fair Comparison? Course Withdrawal = Academic Non-success
  37. 37. A Perspective from David Diaz• “However, I believe that many online students who drop a class may do so because it is the right thing to do. In other words, because of the requirements of school, work, and/or family life in general, students can benefit more from a class if they take it when they have enough time to apply themselves to the class work.” http://technologysource.org/article/online_drop_rates_revisited
  38. 38. A Perspective from David Diaz• “Thus, by dropping the class, they may be making a mature, well-informed decision that is consistent with a learner with significant academic and life experience. This explanation would be consistent with their demographics while calling into question the idea that these students are academically unsuccessful or possess inferior academic abilities.” http://technologysource.org/article/online_drop_rates_revisited
  39. 39. What to doAbout It?
  40. 40. Potential Good Practices• To help improve completion/success rates, consider the following: – Required new student orientation – Additional support mechanisms beyond the instructor – Early intervention when they start falling behind – Formalizing your expectations for online learners and online faculty
  41. 41. More Potential Good Practices• To help improve completion/success rates, consider the following: – Require interaction - no electronic correspondence courses (Expectations) – Mid-term course evaluations – Shorter class lengths (8 wks or less) – Provide better “consumer” information pre-enrollment – Professional Development Opportunities
  42. 42. One Example Shorter Course Lengths
  43. 43. Why Don’t Adult Students Persist?• From the Maricopa CC System: – 10% due to academic reasons such as course too hard or too heavy a load. – 65% due to life interruptions (includes the normal things of family or job issues, illness, etc. etc.)Source: Ron Bleed, CIO of Maricopa CC (retired)
  44. 44. Example of Life InterruptionPsychology Psychology Psychology 12 Weeks Invested, 12 CreditsHumanitiesHumanities Humanities Paid For, No Credits Earned, Biology Biology Biology With Little Incentive History History History To Return 4 weeks 8 weeks 12 weeks
  45. 45. Alternate Outcome 12 Weeks Invested,Psychology 12 Credits Paid For, Humanities 9 Credits Earned, With Greater Biology Incentive To Return History - No 4 weeks 8 weeks 12 weeks
  46. 46. Alternate Outcome #2 12 Weeks Invested, Psychology 12 Credits Paid For, Humanities 6 Credits Earned, With Much Biology - No Incentive To Return History - No 4 weeks 8 weeks 12 weeks
  47. 47. LSC – FY2010 – All Online Courses 26.2% 3.00 2.9330% 20.7% 2.90 2.80 2.7520% 2.7010% 2.60 2.500% D,F,W GPA 8-week 16-week 8-week 16-week
  48. 48. A Final Thought Focus on What’s Important
  49. 49. Change the Perspective Online Students 25% 75% Successful Non-successful
  50. 50. Change the PerspectiveThose who need Online Studentsonline learningfor access 25% 75% 40% Successful Non-successful
  51. 51. Change the Perspective Online Students 25% 40% 75%Is thismore likely? Successful Non-successful
  52. 52. Q&A Online Course Completion RatesBarry DahlDesire2Learn Community Manager

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