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Understanding Different Categories of Attrition in Distance Education Programs

Understanding Different Categories of Attrition in Distance Education Programs
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Author(s): Seung Youn (Yonnie) Chyung (Boise State University, USA)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 10
Source title: Encyclopedia of Distance Learning, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Patricia L. Rogers (Bemidji State University, USA), Gary A. Berg (California State University Channel Islands (Retired), USA), Judith V. Boettcher (Designing for Learning, USA), Caroline Howard (HC Consulting, USA), Lorraine Justice (Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong) and Karen D. Schenk (K. D. Schenk and Associates Consulting, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-198-8.ch322


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Distance learning is often referred to as taking training or education courses that are either synchronously or asynchronously delivered via various media such as audio, video, or computer, especially Internet technologies in recent years. The number of corporate training programs delivered via Internet technologies (a.k.a., e-learning) has dramatically increased over the last several years. According to ASTD reports (2002, 2003), the percentage of e-learning programs delivered in the Benchmark Service companies in the U.S. increased from 8.8% of total training hours in 2000 to 10.5% in 2001. The number of distance programs offered at degree-granting educational institutions in the U.S. has also gradually increased each year. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (2003), 56% of two-year or four-year degree-granting educational institutions offered distance education (DE) courses during the 12-month 2000-2001 academic year, and during the time period, about 2.8 million students were enrolled in college-level credit-granting DE courses, the majority of which were Internet-based courses. Internetdelivered instruction has gained credibility during recent years as well. Research has shown that there seems to be no significant difference in terms of the effectiveness of instruction delivered in traditional classroom settings and the effectiveness of instruction delivered via the Internet (van Schaik, Barker & Beckstrand, 2003). Such research findings, coupled with potential benefits such as cost-effectiveness and convenience, have likely contributed to the increasing popularity of Internet-delivered distance learning programs.

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