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The Impact of Face-to-Face Orientation on Online Retention: A Pilot Study
Posted on 30 November 2012 by Shahril Effendi Bin Ibrahim (Senior Librarian)
Authorship Details
Radwan Ali
Elke M. Leeds
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Publication Title: 
Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration
University of West Georgia, Distance Education Center
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Student retention in online education is a concern for students, faculty and administration. Retention rates are 20% lower in online courses than in traditional face-to-face courses. As part of an integration and engagement strategy, a face-to-face orientation was added to an online undergraduate business information systems course to examine its impact on retention. The study methodology consisted of an early email contact, distribution of course documents, a follow-up phone call, and a pre-course face-to-face orientation. The retention rate of students who attended the orientation was over 91% with a p-value of 0.9143. The retention rate of students not attending the orientation was just under 18%. Findings suggest that face-to-face orientations impact retention positively. (Abstract by authors)

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