1. Please provide the article with two compliments and two suggestions that lead to further discussion?
The researcher used the Summon tool to search the topic of online student retention. The researcher found the wording of this topic by performing a literature review search on Google Scholar. From the five articles selected from Summon, the researcher chose Rebecca A. Glazier’s (2016) article, “Building Rapport to Improve Retention and Success in Online Classes” and Arhin and Wang’eri’s (2018) article, “Orientation Programs and Student Retention in Distance Learning: The Case of the University of Cape Coast”. Both articles are relevant to the researcher’s topic as she wants to increase student retention rates of her online students. With higher retention rates come greater graduation rates.
In summary, Glazier (2016) divided her online Introduction to Political Science classes into rapport and non-rapport sections. She hypothesized the rapport-building classes would lead to improved student success and retention. The study spanned six years, 2009 through 2016. Glazier utilized rapport-building strategies throughout the course. Out of 590 students' data, 465 were online students, and 143 of the online students were part of the rapport-building sections. The strategies were to make the instructor more human, create contact with students, and to provide each student with detailed feedback on coursework. To humanize herself, Glazier was available for contact and came across as amiable. She made a welcome video and weekly videos that covered what would be presented and needed to be completed in the course each week. For assignment feedback, Glazier used an Adobe Acrobat Pro red pen to handwrite on students' uploaded assignments. In the online discussion boards, she made sure to post three times a week and write each students' name on the post. For personal contact, Glazier sent personal emails to each student on weeks assignments were due and on weeks 4 and 13. On the last week, week 15, she sent an email encouraging each student with late assignments to get the overdue work to her. The course grade and whether the student remained in the class measured student success. Students who earned a D or F and those who withdrew were considered unsuccessful. Students with a C or higher were successful. Students in rapport sections were 13.5% more successful than the non-rapport sections. Through Likert scale measures on student surveys, the rapport sections perceived the professor as more accessible and engaged in the class. With qualitative feedback to open-ended survey questions, more positive comments came from rapport sections. With her qualitative and quantitative measures, Glazier demonstrated through online rapport-building efforts the achievement of student retention and success.
In summary, Arhin and Wang’eri (2018) gave questionnaires to 727 online students with 625 students or 86% completing the questionnaires. The authors wanted to know how the online students felt about the new student orientation and if the orientation met their needs. The study utilized information processing theory. The theory assumed when exposed to new information people changed their thinking, which led to changed actions. The researchers made their questionnaire that had two parts. The first part of the research pertained to student's attitudes toward the success of the new student orientation. The questionnaire contained close and open-ended questions and seven questions on a 5-point Likert scale. The second part of the research pertained to students' intentions on remaining in school. Ten Binary Likert questions were asked centering on whether the question was like the student or not like the student. Of the 625 students who completed the questionnaire, 47 of the students did not attend the new student orientation. The study hypothesized that new student orientation would not result in significantly higher retention rates for attendees. The results of the study indicated students were satisfied with the orientation and felt it met their needs. The only exception to this was that the students wanted to have more interaction with the staff during the new student orientation. Contrary to their hypothesis, the authors found that attending new student orientation had a strong influence on student retention in online classes. In reaction to their findings, the authors recommended greater staff interaction with students at orientation and that orientation extend through the first year of the students’ program.