Student retention vexes campus decision makers who need solutions

technological-retentionStudent retention, once a back burner issue for many colleges and universities, has emerged as a pressing issue for campus decision makers, who have increasingly looked to technology for solutions.

Concerns about retention are particularly acute in online courses.

Forty-one percent of chief academic officers in a recent survey said they agreed that retaining students was a greater problem for online courses than for face-to-face classes.

Only 28 percent of respondents felt this way about retention in 2009, and only 27 percent concurred in 2004. Researchers from the Babson Survey Research Group, Pearson, and the Sloan Consortium who studied growing retention problems said there are many reasons web-based classes have become a central focus on retention efforts.

“Online courses can attract students who might otherwise have not been able to attend traditional on-campus instruction because of work, family, or other obligations,” the researchers wrote in a survey examining retention rates at more than 3,000 colleges.

The question becomes: What technologies and policies are universities turning to in efforts to curb falling retention rates? Here are a few tech solutions that educators and eCampus News readers have pointed to…

(Next page: Retention solutions)


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