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

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April 20-22, 2016 | New Orleans, LA | Sheraton New Orleans Hotel

Persistence Secrets Shared: Results and Recommendations of a Single Case Study of Online Graduate Persistence

Deborah Budash (Saint Francis University, USA)
Session Information
October 16, 2015 - 11:45am
Learning Effectiveness
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Research Study
Institutional Level: 
Multiple Levels
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Information Session
Northern Hemisphere A4
Session Duration: 
45 Minutes
Concurrent Session 11

Persistence secrets shared! Come to learn how one group of online graduate students persisted in their program and what their faculty think of their success.

Extended Abstract

Persistence in the online learning environment is believed lower than in the face-to-face classroom. The reasons for this are not fully understood and while some predictions can be made related to persistence, online student behavior can be difficult to predict. As such, qualitative research is needed to ascertain what online learners think of persistence.

This presentation will present the results of a single case study which collected the perceptions of persistence of online master's degree students and their faculty. The 2014 International Online Learning Conference featured a presentation of the literature review findings for this study. This presentation will review the results which included the recognition of student, instructor, course design, and program-related interventions. Come to hear the persistence secrets of online learners who have successfully managed the online learning environment to achieve their educational goals.

The learning objectives for this session are as follows. At the conclusion of this session, attendees will:
a. define persistence and the factors that can impact it.
b. identify aspects of a graduate online learning experience that were found to positively impact persistence.
c. identify implications for practice particularly related to instructor, course design, and program support that support online student persistence.

Lead Presenter

Dr. Budash currently serves as the chair of online Master of Health Science and Master of Medical Science Department at Saint Francis University in Loretto, PA. The MMS MHS Department is the only fully-online department at SFU and Dr. Budash has overseen tremendous growth in both of these programs. Prior to this post, Dr. Budash served as the program director of the BSOT and OTA programs at Mount Aloysius College in Pennsylvania, and as an occupational therapy manager and clinician in multiple practice settings. Dr. Budash earned PhD in Education with a specialty in educational technology and e-learning from Northcentral University. Her dissertation research explored graduate student and faculty member perceptions of persistence in an online master's degree program.