Some professors at Kennesaw State University were troubled by the rate their students were dropping out of online courses.
So they decided to conduct a study to figure out the best strategies for keeping online students engaged and enrolled.
That included everything from personal phone calls to getting students to sign contracts promising to stay on top of course work.
The conclusion: nothing worked.
Elke Leeds is one of the professors. She says the problem is with students’ expectations:
"These are demanding university courses. They’re credit hour generating, so in an online course this is not something students can just come in and say ‘Oh well it’s on the computer so it’s not going to be as hard as if I have to go to class.' It’s as hard or harder to do it online."
The study will be published in the International Journal of Management in Education.
Leeds says the next stage of the research looks at what makes students successful online learners.