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Hawkins, A. & Barbour, M. K. (2009, October). On measuring attrition: An examination U.S. virtual school trial period and course completion policies. Reflective paper presented at the annual convention of the Association for Educational Communication and Technology, Louisville, KY.
This study examined variations in virtual school course enrollment trial periods and course completion policies?two policies that impact the comparability of school attrition statistics. Researchers contacted 169 U.S. virtual schools. Over 80% of respondents had trial periods. Trial period lengths and course completion definitions varied significantly and are discussed. Researchers recommend adopting multiple measures for calculating student attrition to enable meaningful comparisons among virtual and brick and mortar schools.