distance education, enrollment gap, student satisfaction, independent students, dependent students
The purpose of this research is to determine whether nontraditional undergraduate students in the US who enroll in distance education classes are less likely to have an enrollment gap (enrollment gap=part year enrollment). Previous research has shown that preference for distance education classes is significantly greater among nontraditional than among traditional undergraduate students; nontraditional students invariably have a greater number of competing demands (work and family) on their time. Since distance education courses provide students with more convenient and flexible class schedules, nontraditional students, who have time or location constraints that prevent them from enrolling in face-to-face classes during a semester or quarter, may be more likely to enroll in distance education classes in order to stay enrolled for the entire academic year. Based upon this rationale, we predicted that enrollment in distance education classes is significantly related to a decreased likelihood of an enrollment gap among nontraditional students. To test this prediction, we used data from the National Postsecondary Student Aid Survey (NPSAS) conducted in 2008. The NPSAS 2008 used a complex survey design to collect data from a nationally representative sample of about 113,500 postsecondary undergraduate students in the US. Results confirm our prediction, and show that enrollment in distance education is significantly related to a decreased likelihood of an enrollment gap among nontraditional students, but not among traditional students. Results also show that five of the seven dropout risk factors (identified by previous research to decrease 6-year graduation rates) are each significantly associated with an increased likelihood of an enrollment gap. These results suggest that the offer of distance education classes could increase degree progress and possibly completion rates for nontraditional undergraduates who are at high risk for dropout.
provides a place for Sloan-C members and others to secure education and professional development about online eteaching and learning. Sloan-C offers wide ranging knowledge for those interested in deepening both pedagogical and practitioner aspects of their teaching practice.
includes valuable resources to help you and your faculty gain effectiveness in online teaching and learning, with discounted pricing on Sloan-C conferences and workshops, free webinars, discussion groups and peer networking, awards eligibility and more.
The Sloan Consortium offers three annual conferences,
each focusing on a different area of interest in online learning and located
in a different region of the country. Join us this fall in Orlando, Florida
for our Annual International Conference on Online Learning, as well as next
spring in Dallas, Texas for the Emerging Technologies for Online Learning
International Symposium, and in Denver, Colorado next summer for the Blended
Learning Conference & Workshop.
The Online Learning Revolution is the new reality!
The 2012 Online Learning Survey reported that more than 6.7 million students are taking at least one online course, and this trend is growing faster than traditional enrollments, are you ready to participate or expand activities in this growing market?
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