Presentation Title

Virtual Advising: A tool for retention, engagement and success for the distance learner

Start

1-30-2019 1:45 PM

End

1-30-2019 2:30 PM

Short Description

To meet the needs of the distance learners in higher education, it is imperative that academic advisors forge a bridge to retain, engage and promote the success of this population. To do this, the traditional advising model must undergo a change and be able to employ various technology tools. By using these, a virtual advising program will be able to replicate the closeness of a campus experience, engage and retain the distance learner.

Abstract

Currently, online education is a vital part of higher education. Even though online enrollments tend to rise annually, student attrition in distance education is reported to be greater than that of traditional programs (Betts & Lanza-Gladney, 2010), due to feelings of isolation (Morris & Finnegan, 2009). Some studies show that student attrition rates at online institutions are 3% to 5% higher than those of traditional institutions (U.S. News and World Report, 2015).

The academic advisor plays a crucial role in extending a “life-line” to online students, by providing a supportive relationship (Ludwig-Hardman & Dunlap, 2003). The use of effective technologies is critical to virtual advising and employing these technology tools is paramount. When using virtual advising tools, current advisors “flip” the way traditional advisement is delivered (Steele, 2016). Virtual academic advisors will enhance their interactions with the distance learner by using online advising tools and resources, such as web chats, video conferencing, blogs, podcasts/vodcasts, social networking sites, and wikis. Consequently, academic advisors, administrators, faculty, staff, and students in higher education institutions will be able to forge the bridge that will encourage, support and ensure that the distance learner remains engaged, succeeds and graduates.

This presentation will review the literature to ascertain critical reasons for implementing a virtual academic advising model to reduce attrition rates in online programs, as well as explore solutions to boost retention, success, and graduation rates. Furthermore, it will provide the participants with the strategies necessary for a successful virtual advising program. Examining these issues is vital to contemporary learning environments.

References

Betts, K. & Lanza-Gladney, M. (2010). Academic Advising: Ten Strategies to increase student engagement and retention by personalizing the online education experience through Online Human Touch. Academic Advising Today, 35(1).

Ludwig-Hardman, S., & Dunlap, J. C. (2003). Learner support services for online students. Scaffolding for success. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 4 (1).

Morris, L. V., & Finnegan, C. L. (2009). Best practices in predicting and encouraging student persistence and achievement online. Journal of College Student Retention, 10(1), 55-64.

Steele, G. (2016). Creating a Flipped Advising Approach NACADA Clearinghouse of Academic Advising Resources. Retrieved from https://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Resources/Clearinghouse/View-Artivles/Creating-a-Flipped-Advising-Approach.aspx

U.S. News and World Report. (2015, January 30). Experts debate graduation rates for online students. Retrieved from https://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/articles/2015/01/30/experts-debate-graduation-rates-for-online-students

Format

Snapshot Presentation

Institutional level targeted

Higher Ed

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Jan 30th, 1:45 PM Jan 30th, 2:30 PM

Virtual Advising: A tool for retention, engagement and success for the distance learner

Currently, online education is a vital part of higher education. Even though online enrollments tend to rise annually, student attrition in distance education is reported to be greater than that of traditional programs (Betts & Lanza-Gladney, 2010), due to feelings of isolation (Morris & Finnegan, 2009). Some studies show that student attrition rates at online institutions are 3% to 5% higher than those of traditional institutions (U.S. News and World Report, 2015).

The academic advisor plays a crucial role in extending a “life-line” to online students, by providing a supportive relationship (Ludwig-Hardman & Dunlap, 2003). The use of effective technologies is critical to virtual advising and employing these technology tools is paramount. When using virtual advising tools, current advisors “flip” the way traditional advisement is delivered (Steele, 2016). Virtual academic advisors will enhance their interactions with the distance learner by using online advising tools and resources, such as web chats, video conferencing, blogs, podcasts/vodcasts, social networking sites, and wikis. Consequently, academic advisors, administrators, faculty, staff, and students in higher education institutions will be able to forge the bridge that will encourage, support and ensure that the distance learner remains engaged, succeeds and graduates.

This presentation will review the literature to ascertain critical reasons for implementing a virtual academic advising model to reduce attrition rates in online programs, as well as explore solutions to boost retention, success, and graduation rates. Furthermore, it will provide the participants with the strategies necessary for a successful virtual advising program. Examining these issues is vital to contemporary learning environments.

References

Betts, K. & Lanza-Gladney, M. (2010). Academic Advising: Ten Strategies to increase student engagement and retention by personalizing the online education experience through Online Human Touch. Academic Advising Today, 35(1).

Ludwig-Hardman, S., & Dunlap, J. C. (2003). Learner support services for online students. Scaffolding for success. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 4 (1).

Morris, L. V., & Finnegan, C. L. (2009). Best practices in predicting and encouraging student persistence and achievement online. Journal of College Student Retention, 10(1), 55-64.

Steele, G. (2016). Creating a Flipped Advising Approach NACADA Clearinghouse of Academic Advising Resources. Retrieved from https://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Resources/Clearinghouse/View-Artivles/Creating-a-Flipped-Advising-Approach.aspx

U.S. News and World Report. (2015, January 30). Experts debate graduation rates for online students. Retrieved from https://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/articles/2015/01/30/experts-debate-graduation-rates-for-online-students