Student Persistence and Attrition in an Online M. S. Program: Implications for Program Design
AbstractThis paper describes results from a case study that focuses on the initial implementation of a new, online instructional program, the WebIT M.S. in Instructional Technology, offered at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville during 2008-2010. Survey data were collected from two groups of students: a self-selected sample of those students who dropped out of the WebIT program within the first year (the DROPPER-respondents), and the students who successfully completed the WebIT program in Spring 2010 (COMPLETERS). These two groups of students were compared in an attempt to identify possible differences that would help program faculty make future admission decisions; and, to identify program design characteristics for possible program revision. Eleven findings are reported and discussed. These findings may be of value to others currently involved in the delivery of an online program or those who may be interested in developing a new online program.