We’re highlighting “Catering to the 21st Century student” week here on eCampus News as part of our monthly topic week series throughout the year. Step three of catering to today’s students is to provide online learning options, either through blended learning or fully online courses and programs. But with the recent controversy over low retention rates, it’s important to incorporate innovative online strategies. Below are just a few articles we believe can help colleges and universities implement the best online strategies for self-motivated students:

*Editor’s note: Be sure to check back every day for another list of helpful topic articles on how to recruit and retain students. Thursday’s topic: Provide a safe campus environment. Check out Monday’s topic: Tech empower your campus, and Tuesday’s topic: Make the classroom collaborative.

Why online courses  have low retention rates-and how to boost them

retention-rates-onlineLow retention rates have plagued online courses for years, but the popularity of massive open online courses (MOOCs) has helped shine a brighter spotlight on the issue in recent months. It’s also helped to highlight the fundamental differences between the kinds of students taking, and failing, online courses and those who can typically be found sitting in a campus lecture hall…Read the article.

 

A game-changer for online retention

communities-retention-studentsIn a recent think-tank panel in D.C. on trends in higher-ed, one online learning expert from Arizona State University said that the next big discussion for colleges and universities would be on online communities. But why is it so important for online learning? The simplest answer is that students like it, so they stick around. But why do students in an online environment need community, and what are some key features of a good community? Read the article.

This technology can boost student retention

visual-technology-retentionAs teaching moves from ‘sage on the stage’ to ‘guide on the side,’ educators are still mulling over exactly how technology tools can best help guide student learning. The problem is, as faculty is quickly coming to understand, technology for its own sake is not enough. Nowhere is this more evident than in MOOCs and the current crisis with retention. Plopping a student in front of a video lecture provides a new medium, but a boring lecture will still be a boring lecture on video. The key to student engagement (and therefore, retention) says one teaching and technology expert, is to use technology to make the information relevant and understandable. One effective way to do this is with visuals. Specifically, with annotated visual technology…Read the article.

INFOGRAPHIC: 10 tips for online course design

online-course-designAccording to recent studies, blended and fully-online courses are reaching almost every college and university in the country, with students craving more flexible and personalized learning. But as many faculty are coming to understand, an effective online course is more than just pasting information on a website. However, due to low retention rates not only in MOOCs, but also in fully-online courses, faculty and curriculum designers realize that part of the reasons why students like online learning—community, personalization, and interactive lessons—means moving away from traditional course design…Read the article.

About the Author:

Meris Stansbury

Meris Stansbury is the Editorial Director for both eSchool News and eCampus News, and was formerly the Managing Editor of eCampus News. Before working at eSchool Media, Meris worked as an assistant editor for The World and I, an online curriculum publication. She graduated from Kenyon College in 2006 with a BA in English, and enjoys spending way too much time either reading or cooking.


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