Volume 14, Issue 1 - March 2010

An Exploration of the Relationship Between Indicators of the Community of Inquiry Framework and Retention in Online Programs

Wally Boston, American Public University System
Sebastián R. Díaz, West Virginia University
Angela M. Gibson, American Public University System
Phil Ice, American Public University System
Jennifer Richardson, Purdue University
Karen Swan, University of Illinois Springfield

[Reprinted from 12:1, February 2008]

As the growth of online programs continues to rapidly accelerate, concern over retention is increasing. Models for understanding student persistence in the face-to-face environment are well established, however, the many of the variables in these constructs are not present in the online environment or they manifest in significantly different ways. With attrition rates significantly higher than in face-to-face programs, the development of models to explain online retention is considered imperative. This study moves in that direction by exploring the relationship between indicators of the Community of Inquiry Framework and student persistence. Analysis of over 28,000 student records and survey data demonstrates a significant amount of variance in re-enrollment can be accounted for by indicators of Social Presence.

If Higher Education is a Right, and Distance Education is the Answer, Then Who Will Pay?

Katrina A. Meyer, The University of Memphis

[Reprinted from 12:1, February 2008] If higher education is a right, and distance education is the avenue for making higher education universally available, then who shall pay? This article asks (1) can state governments in the United States afford to fund this initiative and (2) can public higher education...

Using Focus Groups to Study ALN Faculty Motivation

Starr Roxanne Hiltz, New Jersey Institute of Technology
Peter Shea, University at Albany
Eunhee Kim, Northern State University

What are the most significant factors that motivate and inhibit faculty with regard to teaching in online environments? And what are the specific kinds of experiences that underlie and explain the importance of these factors? One goal of this study was to add to understanding of these issues, but the...

Model-Driven Design: Systematically Building Integrated Blended Learning Experiences

Stephen Laster, Babson College

[Reprinted from Elements of Quality Online Education: Into the Mainstream, Volume 5 in the Sloan-C series (2003)] Developing and delivering curricula that are integrated and that use blended learning techniques requires a highly orchestrated design. While institutions have demonstrated the ability to design complex curricula on an ad-hoc basis,...

Scaling Online Education: Increasing Access to Higher Education

Jacqueline F. Moloney, UMass Lowell and UMass Online
Burks Oakley II, University of Illinois and University of Illinois Online

[Reprinted from 10:3, July 2006] This paper reviews online enrollment trends in higher education, describes the characteristics of online programs that have scaled successfully to meet increasing demand, identifies challenges impacting the continued growth of online enrollments in this sector, and outlines the opportunities for increasing access ...

Characteristics of Successful Local Blended Programs in the Context of the Sloan-C Pillars

Jacqueline F. Moloney, University of Massachusetts Lowell
Charmaine P. Hickey, University of Massachusetts Lowell
Amy L. Bergin, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Judith Boccia, University of Massachusetts Lowell
Kathleen Polley, University of Massachusetts Boston
Jeannette E. Riley, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

[Reprinted from 11:1, April 2007] Drawing on the University of Massachusetts experience in developing successful blended local programs, this paper suggests guiding principles that include mission-driven responsiveness to local contexts and partnerships; using low-cost marketing strategies available through local relationships and brand; attending to students’ preferences for blending face-to-face and...

An Administrator’s Guide to the Whys and Hows of Blended Learning

Mary Niemiec, University of Illinois at Chicago
George Otte, The City University of New York

[Reprinted from 13:1, April 2009] Given the importance of administrative attention to blended learning, this article adumbrates the institutional benefits but also the institutional challenges of this integration of online and on-campus instruction. The reasons for engaging in blended learning determine how it will play out, so the why is...