Researchers Work To Keep Students In Online Classes

Some professors at Kennesaw State University were troubled by the rate their students were…

Georgia (Oct 4, 2010) — Some professors at Kennesaw State University were troubled by the rate their students were dropping out of online courses.


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So they decided to conduct a study to figure out the best strategies for keeping online students engaged and enrolled.

That included everything from personal phone calls to getting students to sign contracts promising to stay on top of course work.

The conclusion: nothing worked.

Elke Leeds is one of the professors. She says the problem is with students’ expectations:

"These are demanding university courses. They’re credit hour generating, so in an online course this is not something students can just come in and say ‘Oh well it’s on the computer so it’s not going to be as hard as if I have to go to class.' It’s as hard or harder to do it online."

The study will be published in the International Journal of Management in Education.

Leeds says the next stage of the research looks at what makes students successful online learners.



A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit