On the Cutting EDge podcast, Western Governors University’s Jennie Sanders says her team’s recent research shows that the right kind of outreach to students is increasing course completion.
In a research paper published in the Journal of Postsecondary Student Success, the university reported that students who received timely faculty outreach via a dashboard were 20% more likely to complete their courses than students who did not receive the same level of personalized help.
“What we wanted to understand and what was the focus of this research was when these essential actions are surfacing for learners,” Sanders says on the podcast. “So not just that, ‘Oh yeah, the student needs help,’ but trying to reach out to them within a certain time period.”
In the research, Sanders’ team looked at a dataset with more than 300,000 student course interactions in several different time periods.
“We wanted to understand not just the impact of the outreach, but also the timing of the outreach across the entire experience of the learners,” Sanders says. “What we found was that for those students who receive that outreach, it certainly had a positive impact on their course completion, as well as the retention.”
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