Attrition in the digital age: reminders from the literature

Edited book (chapter)


Reed, Kate, Wise, Nathan, Tynan, Belinda and Bossu, Carina. 2013. "Attrition in the digital age: reminders from the literature ." Tynan, B., Willems, J. and James, R . (ed.) Outlooks and opportunities in blended and distance learning. Hershey, PA. United States. IGI Global. pp. 279-293
Chapter Title

Attrition in the digital age: reminders from the literature

Book Chapter CategoryEdited book (chapter)
ERA Publisher ID2177
Book TitleOutlooks and opportunities in blended and distance learning
AuthorsReed, Kate (Author), Wise, Nathan (Author), Tynan, Belinda (Author) and Bossu, Carina (Author)
EditorsTynan, B., Willems, J. and James, R .
Page Range279-293
SeriesAdvances in Mobile and Distance Learning
Chapter Number20
Number of Pages15
Year2013
PublisherIGI Global
Place of PublicationHershey, PA. United States
ISBN9781466642058
9781466642065
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.4018/978-1-4666-4205-8.ch020
Web Address (URL)http://www.igi-global.com/chapter/attrition-digital-age/78412
Abstract

Distance education (learning and teaching by distance modes of information exchange) is often characterised by having higher attrition rates (often labelled as 'drop-out' or 'withdrawal') compared to traditional face-to-face (or 'on-campus') education. It has been claimed that no area of research in distance education has received more attention; such is the concern surrounding attrition. This chapter suggests that a holistic understanding of the numerous, complex, and interlinked factors that may contribute to a learner choosing to discontinue their studies continues to elude researchers. Furthermore, attrition may not always be a negative outcome; for example, a learner may have achieved the desired skill set from their studies. In the current higher education climate it is imperative for universities to maintain student enrolments. Attrition directly impacts upon wasted expenditure and loss of revenue for an institution. Additionally, withdrawing from tertiary studies can have consequences for the distance learner. This chapter explores underlying concerns and identify key questions and gaps regarding attrition in distance education for the digital age.

Keywordsdistance education; online learning; student withdrawal; failure rates; Australia
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390405. Educational technology and computing
520102. Educational psychology
390303. Higher education
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Byline AffiliationsUniversity of New England
Pro Vice-Chancellor's Office (Learning, Teaching and Quality)
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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