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E‐learning and retention: key factors influencing student withdrawal

Gary Packham (Welsh Enterprise Institute, Department of Enterprise and Economic development, Business School, University of Glamorgan, Pontypridd, UK)
Paul Jones (Welsh Enterprise Institute, Department of Enterprise and Economic development, Business School, University of Glamorgan, Pontypridd, UK)
Christopher Miller (Welsh Enterprise Institute, Department of Enterprise and Economic development, Business School, University of Glamorgan, Pontypridd, UK)
Brychan Thomas (Welsh Enterprise Institute, Department of Enterprise and Economic development, Business School, University of Glamorgan, Pontypridd, UK)

Education + Training

ISSN: 0040-0912

Article publication date: 1 August 2004

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Abstract

This study examines the causes for student withdrawals experienced in the E‐College Wales BA Enterprise programme. These key causes, identified by interview with former students are contrasted against the existing literature. The study found that successful e‐learners were typically female, non‐HE qualified, self employed and aged between 31 and 50. Eight prime causes of withdrawal were identified including technical problems, pressure of work and lack of time, which where categorised as extrinsic or intrinsic. Intrinsic factors were identified as internal course related barriers, which could be influenced by the course team. Extrinsic factors are barriers to e‐learning, which are external to the University such as employment issues and personal problems. This study contributes to knowledge in providing a conceptual framework for managing withdrawals and retentions illustrating key bodies and their interactions and identifying key strategies to overcome their negative influence. This paper will assist e‐learning providers in identifying and differentiating between causes of student withdrawal and creating strategies and systems to monitor and improve student retention.

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Citation

Packham, G., Jones, P., Miller, C. and Thomas, B. (2004), "E‐learning and retention: key factors influencing student withdrawal", Education + Training, Vol. 46 No. 6/7, pp. 335-342. https://doi.org/10.1108/00400910410555240

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited