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Persistence Factors Revealed: Students’ Reflections on Completing a Fully Online Program
Distance Education (2017)
  • Dazhi Yang, Boise State University
  • Sally Baldwin, Boise State University
  • Chareen Snelson, Boise State University
Despite  their  rapid  growth,  online  programs  routinely  face  student  attrition. How to retain students and help them successfully complete is usually a top priority for online programs. This study investigated persistence factors that contributed to students’ successful completion from one of the largest and most successful online programs in the United  States  of  America.  Results  show  that  both  personal  and  program  attributes  contributed  to  students’  successful  completion  of a fully online program. Main individual attributes include interest in  or  career  goals  related  to  technology,  time  and  effort  invested,  and  perceived  utility  of  learning.  Main  program  attributes  include  relevancy of courses to individual or professional needs, satisfaction with   courses   and   program,   and   ties   between   coursework   and   job  promotion.  Results  of  this  study  have  implications  in  terms  of  prioritizing different attributes and strategizing resources to improve completion and graduation rates for fully online programs. 
  • persistence,
  • online program,
  • completion,
  • student attention,
  • student retention,
  • online program management
Publication Date
April 2, 2017
Citation Information
Dazhi Yang, Sally Baldwin and Chareen Snelson. "Persistence Factors Revealed: Students’ Reflections on Completing a Fully Online Program" Distance Education Vol. 38 Iss. 1 (2017) p. 23 - 36
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