Recently we needed to make a decision about the number of students we could accommodate at capacity. This of course required some research in to the completion rates of online courses. It was a total shock to us to discover that online courses generally only have a 3-20% completion rate!
Obviously that is a terrible experience for everyone involved. We realised that it would do nothing for our reputation or our company goal of improving the standard of the profession in general. We also realised that the students would leave without gaining what we intended to give them.
We needed to think about ways we can support all of our students to gain the best outcome, and ultimately, complete their study. We know that true community is at the heart of success for our students, and this is what we are doing to support their success:
We have divided the content of our courses in to blocks. That gives our students a small amount of work to focus on at one time, and prevents them from becoming overwhelmed with the entire course at once.
We provide one on one mentoring, and students have access to phone or Skype their lecturer every single week. We systematically check up on students we haven’t heard from to provide necessary support.
We have a Facebook group where we consistently offer support and ask our students to be accountable to us. We offer them Skype meet-ups, videos of new content and q&a sessions in the group too. We are visible and accessible in the group, and ensure that they have a quick response to their questions.
We congratulate our students each time they are signed off for a block of their study, and these incremental micro-rewards provide them and fellow students with motivation to keep going.
We provide them with a certificate and an internationally recognised qualification at the completion of their study.
We will be tracking our completion statistics and will always be aiming to improve this, for everyone’s benefit.
Jade is a Director and Lecturer at the Institute of Parenting Support Services and Director and Senior Educator at Early Childhood Parenting. She practices in Adelaide, South Australia. She is the mother of two beautiful children. You can reach her at 0415507004 or firstname.lastname@example.org