Faculty Articles

Rethinking Academic Support: Improving the Outcomes of Students in High-Risk STEM Courses with Synchronous Videoconferencing

Document Type


Publication Title

Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory & Practice



Publication Date



academic outcomes, academic performance, distance education, online academic support, online support services, online tutoring, retention, synchronous videoconferencing


This article presents findings of a study conducted to determine the impact of academic support provided through videoconferencing on the academic outcomes of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics students enrolled in high-risk science courses in higher education. A quasi-experimental nonequivalent posttest only design was employed to determine if grade and retention outcomes of students receiving online academic support through videoconferencing were equivalent to outcomes received by students receiving face-to-face academic support and students not receiving academic support. Data from 1,276 students were analyzed and significant differences were found in rate of retention and final grades of “Cs or above” among the three groups. The untutored group had the lowest rate. There was no significant difference in retention or final grade proportions for online and face-to-face groups, providing evidence that synchronous academic support through videoconferencing is as effective as face-to-face academic support.



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