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‘Enhancing retention in distance education through ‘Proactive Motivational Support’ Tom Inkelaar and Ormond Simpson Centre for Distance Education, University.

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Presentation on theme: "‘Enhancing retention in distance education through ‘Proactive Motivational Support’ Tom Inkelaar and Ormond Simpson Centre for Distance Education, University."— Presentation transcript:

1 ‘Enhancing retention in distance education through ‘Proactive Motivational Support’ Tom Inkelaar and Ormond Simpson Centre for Distance Education, University of London International Programmes 1 Universities Association for Lifelong Learning Annual Conference 2014

2 2 The Centre for Distance Education -part of -University of London International Programmes (the old External Degree) -45,000 students - in 180 countries. -90 programmes

3 3 University of London International Programmes are supported in two ways: - Via a local teaching institution (132 of them) - At a distance – teaching is entirely via books sent by post

4 4 Conventional and distance graduation rates compared

5 5 ‘Educational Passchendaelism’?

6 Probability of suffering depression, unemployment and (women) partner violence, according to educational experience (Bynner, 2002) Probability of: 6 What happens to students who dropout? - effects of dropout on full-time students in the UK dropouts

7 7 Importance of learning motivation “The best predictor of student retention is motivation. Retention services need to clarify and build on motivation and address motivation- reducing issues. “Most students dropout because of reduced motivation” (Anderson, San Diego, 2003) Professor Edward Anderson

8 8 Proactive Contact ‘Student self-referral does not work as a mode of promoting persistence. Students who need services the most refer themselves the least. “Effective retention services take the initiative in outreach and timely interventions with those students.’ (Anderson, US)

9 9 Learning motivation 1.What motivates students to learn? 2.Can we help them enhance their motivation by proactive support? 9

10 10 Learning motivation theories John Keller – ARCS Theory Carole Dweck - Self Theory Martin Seligman - Positive Psychology

11 Proactive student support – evidence StudyMethodFindingNotes Rekkedahl ‘82 Norway Postcards 46% increase in retention Case & Elliot ’97 US Phone calls 15-20% increase in retention calls most effective Visser ‘90 UK Postcards 27% increase in retention Small scale study Chyung ‘01 US Phone calls Dropout reduced from 44% to 22% Mager ‘03 US ‘Telecounselling’5% increase in retention Cost-effective 625% return Simpson ‘06 UK One phone call before course start 5.04% Cost–effective 460% return Twyford ‘07 Aus. Motivational s 11.7% increase over control Huett ‘08 US Motivational s 23.4% increase over control Significant at 0.5% Simpson ‘01 UK Phone calls plus motivational s 18.9% increase over control

12 12 ‘Motivational’ s? ‘Proactive Motivational Support’ (PaMS)

13 13 ‘Study Tips’ – Introduction 1 Are you ‘fixed’ or ‘malleable’? 2 What to expect from studying the LLB with the London University International Programme? 3 Motivating yourself to learn 4 Getting organised for study - a Funnel in your mailbox? 5 Finding your best study methods 6 Finding time when getting behind. 7 Getting organised - making lists 8 “I’ve those ‘why-am-I-trying-to-study-blues….” ‘Motivational s’

14 14 9 Survival Guide for You and Your Family 10 Managing your procrastinitus 11 Self-Discipline! 12 Learning to concentrate on learning 13 Are you a lucky student? 14. ‘Study Anxiety Syndrome’ 15 Tactics In The Exam Wars 16 ‘Don’t stop now!’ ‘Motivational s’ continued

15 Subject: Study Tip 1 - Are you ‘fixed’ or ‘malleable’? Dear > As I promised I’m sending you my first study tip. I hope you find it useful! Recent findings 1 in psychology suggest that how we think about our own intelligence or IQ is the most important factor in how successful we are when we try to learn. Psychologists say that people fall into two groups – ‘Fixed’ intelligence people – people who believe that their intelligence is fixed at birth and can’t be changed by external factors or their own efforts. Malleable’ intelligence people – people who believe that their intelligence is not fixed and that it can be changed through effort. 15

16 These beliefs affect how people learn, particularly when they run into difficulties or fail an exam. People who believe that their intelligence is fixed may work hard. But when they run into difficulties or failure they tend to believe that they’ve reached the limit of their intelligence and give up. People who believe that their intelligence is malleable will see difficulties as a sign that they need to try harder. This is because they believe that effort will overcome such difficulties in the end. Your intelligence is not fixed We now know that (despite what psychologists used to believe) that intelligence is not a fixed quantity for life. It can be developed by personal endeavour. As psychologists 2 now say “People often overestimate the important of intellectual ability. Practice and perseverance contribute more to accomplishment than being smart”. In other words the malleable people are right. 16

17 Malleability is the key Malleable people don’t see something hard to understand or a poor grade as a comment on their basic intelligence. They just see it as a sign that they need to ask for help and try again. So remember – your intelligence is malleable. With effort and support you can succeed on this course. Good Luck! Ormond Simpson Distance Learning Consultant, University of London International Programme 1 Dweck, C. (2000) ‘Self-Theories’ Psychology Press 2 Hoppe and Stojanovic (2008) Sci. Amer. Mind Please do not reply to this . Send any queries to the Information Centre To opt out of receiving these s click 17

18 Dear > Catching up - Almost every student gets behind with their studies at some point. Life just happens! So here’s the world’s shortest guide on how to catch up - the 3S model  S = Skim. Sometimes when you need to catch up it’s ok to skim what you’re reading and just get a feel for it without reading it word for word.  S = Skip. Sometimes it’s ok the skip some material all together if you need to and if it’s not vital for the next bit of study.  S = Scrape. If you’re behind doing an assignment then occasionally it’s ok to aim to just scrape through. You don’t have to do everything perfectly! 18 Complete texts on

19 19 Students on Law module Initial numbers Entered at least 1 exam Sat at least 1 exam Passed at least 1 exam Control group %66.0%55.2% Experimental group %68.3%57.6% Increase in retention in experimental group +2.2%+2.3%+2.4% Results of the motivational project Average increase in retention 2.3% points (32 students)

20 20 The Cost Benefits of Retention Activities Project If F = students fee per year, S = institutional expenditure per student, V = total institutional overhead then if the number of students in year 1 is N 1 and in year 2 is N 2 Income Year 1 = N 1 F – (N 1 S + V) Income Year 2 = N 2 F – (N 2 S + V) Reduction in income due to student dropout between years = N 1 F – (N 1 S + V) – [N 2 F – (N 2 S + V)] = (N 1 – N2)(F – S) Then if there is a retention activity costing £P per student it will cost N 1 P. If that increases retention by n students so that N 2 becomes N 1 + n then the reduction in income is now: [N 1 – (N 2 + n)](F - S) So the reduction is itself reduced making a saving of (N 1 – N 2 )(F – S) – {[N 1 – (N 2 + n)](F - S)} = n(F – S) For the retention activity to be self-supporting n(F – S) > N 1 P Or n p > 100P/(F – S) where n p is the per cent increase in retention For example P = £10 F = £2500, S = £1000 then n p > 100x10/( ) = 0.67% So if a retention activity costing £10 per student produces an increase in retention of more than 0.67% it will be self-supporting.

21 21 Funding learner support £ Fund a retention activity Increases student retention Generates increased student fee income from re-enrolments

22 22 Cost Benefits of the Proactive Motivational Support Project Increase in income due to more students sitting and paying the exam fee = 32 students x exam fee £232 = £7424 Increase in income due to more students carrying on to a second module = 32 students x regn. fee £351 = £11,232 Total benefit= £18,656 Cost of project (approx) Profit = £600 = £18,056 = 3000%Return on Investment

23 23 Looking to the future: Make the s more interactive eg with online questionnaires. More personal eg by linking to personal data Make the cost-benefit case for proactive phone calls

24 24 'Supporting Students for Success in Online and Distance Education' (2013) - now out with Routledge supporting-students Website


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