The student success team targets problems early, and remedies them with equal urgency. Team members understand that some students need more reminders and a greater push than others to succeed in online courses, and they intend to help them do so.

Since its formation, eCore’s student success team has been extremely effective in improving online student retention rates. In 2012, online retention rates reached 83 percent for all of USG’s campuses—an 11-percent increase from the previous year.

“At the University of West Georgia, where the student success team was launched six years ago, rates are an impressive 92 percent, up from 68 percent in 2007,” said Zatynski. “That campus also saw online course retention rates inch ahead of those of face-to-face courses (92 percent to 91 percent, respectively) for the first time this past summer.”

Though online retention rates continue to be a problem in the U.S., colleges and universities could benefit from USG’s student success team’s example.

The impact of MOOCs

Outside of retention rates, the EducationSector survey also asked academic officials about their perspectives on Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), which made a staggering impact on the higher-ed world in 2012.

Regarding the recent popularity spike for MOOCs, the survey found that most college officials (55.4 percent) remain undecided about whether they will participate in the movement. A mere 2.6 percent of the colleges and universities surveyed were currently offering MOOCs, while 9.4 percent were in MOOC planning stages. Almost 33 percent of schools reported having no plans for implementing MOOCs.

 


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