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EDEN Annual Conference 1-14 June Lisbon, Portugal

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Presentation on theme: "EDEN Annual Conference 1-14 June Lisbon, Portugal"— Presentation transcript:

1 EDEN Annual Conference 1-14 June 2008 - Lisbon, Portugal
E-LEARNING STUDENTS REASONS FOR DROPOUT: THE CASE OF VIRCLASS (THE VITUAL CLASS OF SOCIAL WORK IN EUROPE) Eduardo Marques, Instituto Superior Miguel Torga; Andrés Arias Astray, Universidad Complutense; Anne Karin Larsen, Bergen University College; Grete Oline Hole, Bergen University College

2 EDEN Annual Conference 1-14 June 2008 - Lisbon, Portugal
Who ? VirClass, The Virtual Classroom for Social Work in Europe constitute an e-learning initiative that meets students and teachers from all over Europe to participate and cooperate in the 15 ECTS course "Social Work in Europe - Commonalities and Differences, and Comparative Social Work – European Perspective on Core aspects of Social Work" virclass.net

3 EDEN Annual Conference 1-14 June 2008 - Lisbon, Portugal
Where ? Working under Its Learning VLE, students and teachers collaboration in comparative studies are encourage by using task-centred approach to learning, learning by dialogue, portfolio assessment, reflection on learning, and transparency https://www.itslearning.com/index.aspx?Username=&LanguageId=1

4 EDEN Annual Conference 1-14 June 2008 - Lisbon, Portugal
What ? High rate of early dropouts has been a problematic fact from the beginning, because it is an important threat with a negative consequence facing the academic investment, personal effort, and money invested on these courses.

5 EDEN Annual Conference 1-14 June 2008 - Lisbon, Portugal
Why? From a logical point of view, one of the reasons that can explain this disruptive phenomenon is that some of the Virtual students have no official recognition from their respective universities of the credits they obtain, what makes Virclass a second priority in their agenda. Another factor can be the fact that for a big number of students (those whose universities belong to the EUSW) Virclass is a free educative program, what probably reduces its real value and importance.

6 EDEN Annual Conference 1-14 June 2008 - Lisbon, Portugal
How ? The objective of this paper is to analyze from the point of view of the students some of the factors and reasons that can explain the high rates of dropout that have characterized Virclass courses in its first years of live.

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How ? Participants 14 students (3 males and 11 females) of a total of 35 participants who quitted the 2006 edition of the Virclass course took part in the study. Half of the sample was between 18 and 25 years old, 35,7%  between 25 and 32 years old, and 14,3% more than 33 years old. Students from Sweden were 3, from Norway, Portugal and German 2 for each country, and from Poland, Estonia, Netherlands and Spain 1 for each country.

8 EDEN Annual Conference 1-14 June 2008 - Lisbon, Portugal
How ? Instruments The address of an anonymous online-questionnaire was sent to those Virclass participants who quit the course before the start of the second of its two modules. The e-questionnaire comprised socio-demographic questions (sex, age, & country), several open ended questions, and a number of dichotomous (yes, no) close questions and 5 point Likert scale questions which will be the main focus of our analyse here.

9 EDEN Annual Conference 1-14 June 2008 - Lisbon, Portugal
Conclusion To develop a common informative strategy to be used by local contacts in each university in order to make clear to the students what is exactly expected from them when they enroll Virclass in terms of time, workload, and so. It is desirable that at least one teacher must be able to give individual and personalized contact with the students, to give and discuss all information’s but also to get a first impression and evaluate the motivation and commitment of the student.

10 EDEN Annual Conference 1-14 June 2008 - Lisbon, Portugal
Conclusion The students must be informed about the actual cost of the course even if they do not have to pay for it. Otherwise they may have the feeling that they do not lose anything leaving the course. A further work to gain ECTS official recognition in every home university is needed. The ideal situation would be to have Virclass courses fully integrated in the BA/Diploma Social Work curriculum. Finally, other actions must be taken in consideration, especially when students start to fell stressed or lost at their daily academic life.

11 EDEN Annual Conference 1-14 June 2008 - Lisbon, Portugal
Conclusion Thus, it is important to find solutions, among others, to the following situations: Difficulties to access to computers outside of university campuses. The kind of computer technology they have and the speed of internet connections. Lack of computer literacy and a bad relation with technologies. Difficulties of studying in a foreign language.

12 EDEN Annual Conference 1-14 June 2008 - Lisbon, Portugal
Conclusion Difficulties to manage time with academic/professional and social life. The support and direction from local teachers at students’ home universities. The perception of the quality of the course. The relevance of the Virclass curriculum for their future personal and professional lives.

13 EDEN Annual Conference 1-14 June 2008 - Lisbon, Portugal


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