Higher Engagement Leads to Improved Retention

With more and more students failing to complete their degrees online, we’re facing a problem. The problem is that of; the slow moving pace of change in eLearning content, the rise in dropouts and the increasing number of jobs requiring degrees. Oh, did I forget to mention the US alone soaring past the $1 trillion student loan debt mark?

Would it surprise you to learn that over 41% of students drop out from 4 year online college degrees every year?

That’s over 1 million students every year. In fact, it’s over $1.75b dollars in lost revenue, every year.

And I’m also sure I’m not the only one to have be faced with the familiar scenario of signing up to take a course online (in my case, one of the many MOOCs available), ending up head in hands when to my deep seated joy, a 40 minute video appears and a monosyllabic drone fills my ears, seconds before my head hits the desk. I close the browser window and end up looking at things on eBay instead.

Now, MOOCs have a shocking 7% completion rate, but with that they’re also more agile in their change, and are starting to introduce a better standard around content with things like shorter videos etc. We KNOW these are more engaging to our students.

Yet in Higher Education and K-12 the impact is felt with some of the above statistics, as these are much slower to adapt, and more importantly lack the data to do so.

Hey there, have you heard of emotuit?

Firstly, we know that higher engagement in the classroom leads to higher retention rates (MET research report — Gates Foundation) yet, what are we doing to understand and improve that when it comes to studies online?

Two years ago I read that 1–4 College courses would be taught online in 2015. That there would be a rapid increase. Which, we initially saw, yet we also then saw a dip when simply putting the same courses you have been teaching in person online, didn’t work.

When you’re in front of a class of people teaching, you can see if they’re engaged or not. Good teachers will notice and bring those students back in the class in some way, to keep them engaged. However, as soon as you put a course online, you lose that. Nothing. I can see if you clicked play, stop, pause. If you viewed the page, and time on task, but I can tell if you were actually even there. You could well be off making a coffee.

Why does it matter?

Well it’s all about the context.

We have more data being collected today that ever before. Datageddon. Yet, it’s providing that data in a meaningful way to help us actually understand our students and their learning.

There are some great tools out there, which help us understand where students are more at risk, due to their participation in discussions, timeliness of their submissions, time on task etc. But what all of this lack is understanding the student interaction with the content… in context.

So, what emotuit can do is add that layer. Analyze a student as they’re taking a course online. Use that data in context, against the performance data to understand their interactions with the course. Where are they engaged, where they are not. Alerting teachers when students’ engagement is dropping on courses, subjects or tasks. Where content is not effective; understanding the trends in low performance AND low engagement, and where within that content, to better aid the improvement of the course material.

Increasing the engagement of your students, increasing the retention of your students.

You can find out for yourself, if you want to try our plugin to your LMS, we’re integrating with more and more Learning Management Systems everyday.

Don’t be in the dark when it comes to the engagement of your students.

(originally published on Linkedin- Ross Jones CEO @ emotuit )

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