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Proactive Intervention Strategies for Improving Online Student Retention in a Malaysian Distance Education Institution
Posted on 01 April 2014 by Shahril Effendi Bin Ibrahim (Senior Librarian)
Authorship Details
Lai Cheng Tung
Publication Details
Resource Type: 
Publication Date: 
Dec 2012
Publication Title: 
Journal of Online Learning and Teaching
Issue or Number: 
Online distance education has become another way for institutions of higher learning to reach out to learners. However, learner retention rates in online distance education tend to be well below those in traditional full-time higher education. A clear understanding of what factors contribute to learner attrition, including withdrawal from or non-completion of courses, is necessary in order for online distance learning institutions to formulate appropriate retention strategies. This case study looks at the role of proactive interventions practiced by institutions to retain learners through an examination of data collected from departments within an online distance institution in Malaysia. Results suggest that among the top reasons learners drop out are those related to family matters, job commitments, and poor time management practices. This preliminary study aims to assist online distance institutions in better understanding the pattern of their learners' withdrawal, with the hope that it will lead to the development of guidelines for a more systematic evaluation of proactive retention intervention techniques to be implemented to reduce attrition rates in such institutions. (Abstract by author)
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