Student retention: what the research says

In an attempt to refine some of the areas that Captcha wants to look at, I’ve been reading around the topic of retention and extracting what I think is relevant to the project.  It’s sort of an extension of the existing literature review:

 Student Transition and Retention Project (STAR):  Tony Cook from University of Ulster gave a keynote at the CDLT Conference a few years ago and outlined the following issues which Captcha should be mindful of:

  • October/November is a critical time as a majority of students leave in these months (followed by December/January).  This means that if at all possible some Captcha material needs to be available to students in September. 
  • Student mentoring solutions are effective (so some sort of generic student voice through the use of technology may be of benefit)
  • Include non-traditional students in the induction information (we are already actively seeking out stories from non traditional students).

Some of the footage could concentrate on what has been successful in the past including:

Focus on a challenging but positive experience

The benefits of having a goal

Tony also mentioned the importance of pre-emptive support and permitting a pre-entry experience – again this is something we are focussing on with early access to Blackboard and social networking through Ning.

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