Faculty Articles

Innovations in Academic Support: Factors Influencing Student Adoption of Synchronous Videoconferencing for Online Support in High-Risk STEM Courses

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academic persistence, attitudes, college students, communication strategies, educational technology, environmental influences, feedback (response), innovation, interaction, interpersonal relationship, marketing, participant observation, program effectiveness, qualitative research, semi structured interviews, STEM Education, synchronous communication, technical support, technology uses in education, training, tutoring, videoconferencing

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Quarterly Review of Distance Education








The low retention rates of students in science technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and STEM-related majors threaten the ability of the United States to maintain its prominence in science and technology and meet economic demand (Executive Office of the President, President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, 2012). One reason provided for these low retention rates is the need to find innovative uses of information technology that enable interactive real-time feedback and decrease educational costs (Executive Office of the President, President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, 2012). Online tutoring through synchronous videoconferencing provides institutions with an alternative form of academic support for students with divergent needs that is effective and interactive. This article presents findings of a qualitative study conducted to understand influences that affected students' adoption of an online academic support program delivered through videoconferencing. Theory-driven directed content analysis framed with the diffusion of innovations theory was used to answer the main research question: What are the factors that influence student adoption of online academic support through videoconferencing?

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Peer Reviewed