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22st Annual OLC International Conference
November 16-18, 2016 | Orlando, Florida | Walt Disney World Swan/Dolphin Resort

OLC Innovate 2016 - Innovations in Blended and Online Learning
April 20-22, 2016 | New Orleans, LA | Sheraton New Orleans Hotel

Online Learner Success and Retention: What You Need to Know

Julie Bryant (Ruffalo Noel Levitz, USA)
Session Information
October 15, 2015 - 11:15am
Student Services and Learner Support
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Practical Application
Institutional Level: 
Multiple Levels
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Discovery Session
Atlantic Hall
Session Duration: 
45 Minutes
Discovery Session 2

How do the guiding principles of effective retention programs apply to online learning? What can be done to improve student satisfaction, motivation, and engagement?

Extended Abstract

For more than thirty years, student success and retention have been part of the higher education narrative. More recently, activities to improve student success and retention have been identified as a means to improve institutional outcomes and graduation rates. Most institutions serving on-ground students have some type of retention plan in place and/or have regular activities in place to promote student success. What should institutions do to also affect the successful completion of their online learning programs? How can online programs more actively track and improve student success, satisfaction, motivation and engagement?

During the session, six guiding principles will be shared and applied to the online learning environment:
1. Most successful retention programs are highly structured and integrated with other programs and services.
2. Rely on student satisfaction, understanding students' motivation, and then integration of students into the life of your institution.
3. Provide quality classroom engagement and assess learning.
4. Ensure a student-centered dynamic.
5. Empower students to develop relationships.
6. Be intrusive and intentional.

This session will provide examples from effective student success programs for online learners and will share national data on the student experience. Participants will also be encouraged to share what is working for their institutions.

Lead Presenter

Julie L. Bryant, associate vice president of retention solutions at Ruffalo Noel-Levitz works directly with colleges and universities throughout North America in the area of satisfaction assessment.
Ms Bryant is responsible for client service to more than 2,500 institutions using the family of satisfaction-priorities assessment instruments, including the Student Satisfaction Inventoryª, the Institutional Priorities Surveyª, the Adult Student Priorities Surveyª, the Adult Learner Inventoryª, the Priorities Survey of Online Learnersª, and the Parent Satisfaction Inventoryª as well as other surveys in development.
Ms. Bryant provides service to educators by assisting them in determining relationships between perceptions of importance and satisfaction of students, special populations, campus personnel, and the parents of currently enrolled students. Ms. Bryant identifies ways these data can inform retention planning and be shared with the campus community. She also oversees the annual national reporting and trend analysis of these data. She has authored and contributed to white papers on topics related to student satisfaction.
In addition, Ms. Bryant represents Ruffalo Noel Levitz at regional and national events, presenting at conferences and Webinars in the areas of satisfaction assessment.
Ms. Bryant is a graduate of Cornell College (IA).