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A shocking difference between online and traditional students

A shocking difference between online and traditional students
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New study reveals retention rates are all about how students perceive time

perspective-online-studentsThere are many ‘practical’ reasons why a student would pick an online course over an onsite course: money, time constraints, travel time, and supplementing education rather than obtaining a full degree. But a new study reveals that one of the major reasons for dropout rates in online learning has a lot to do with the psycho-social profile of the student.

It’s an intrapsychological factor called temporal perspective (TP) and it’s pretty much the glass half-full/half-empty scenario, mixed in with some other perceptions. And, say researchers Margarida Romero and Mireia Usart from ESADE, it’s a major reason why many online classes have low retention rates.

“Instead of looking to demographics to paint a portrait of the online student, we believe lecturers and administration need to look at the social psychology of online students to determine which students are more likely to succeed and how to address their needs,” they say.

The study, “The Temporal Perspective in Higher Education Learners: Comparisons between online and onsite learning,”  studied students in both a traditional face-to-face setting and in online classes (classes offered by the same higher-ed institution) using the Zimbardo time perspective inventory (ZTPI), which you can read about in the report.

(Next page: The fascinating results)

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