Busted! Challenging Myths about the Effectiveness of Online Student Support Services
Concurrent Session 1
Do students who use online tutoring and other online support services have higher retention rates than those who don’t? The presenters, with extensive experience in online learning, will address this question and common myths about online student services from the perspective of both a 2-year and a 4-year institution.
The value and effectiveness of online learning have been extensively studied. But there are still many myths surrounding online student support services. The presenters, with extensive experience in online learning, will examine the impact of online support services from the perspective of two types of learning environments—a two-year community college and a fully online four-year public university.
Drawing on their work with thousands of students, each presenter will discuss what online student support services are offered at their institutions; what the goals of these services are; and what they have learned. They will briefly describe the differences between online students at 2-year and 4-year institutions and will address some common myths about online student support services.
Myth #1: There’s no measurable difference in retention rates for students who use online support services--including tutoring, coaching, and counseling—than for those who don’t use those services. The presenters will provide data from their institutions demonstrating the positive impact online student support services have on retention and overall student success.
Myth #2: Faculty will never buy into online support services. Both presenters will provide concrete examples of how they have worked successfully with faculty to improve student success rates and demonstrate the value of online support services.
Myth #3: Students won’t take advantage of online support services. The presenters will address the challenge of guiding students to use available online services and the ways in which access to online support services can help mitigate drop-outs.
Each presenter will have stories to share about the impact of specific services. At the end of the presentations attendees will have learned about online learners in 2-year and 4-year institutions; the types of online support services that are meeting their needs in today’s educational landscape; how these services have been implemented and their value assessed; and how to overcome faculty skepticism and student reluctance.