Preparing Students to Succeed: Online

Author Information
John Sener
The Sloan Consortium
Institution(s) or Organization(s) Where EP Occurred: 
Boise State University
Effective Practice Abstract/Summary
Abstract/Summary of Effective Practice: 

Boise State University's IPT Department's "boot camp" is an asynchronous online training program that teaches students the technical and asynchronous learning skills.

Description of the Effective Practice
Description of the Effective Practice: 

How this practice supports access: At Boise State University, an Instructionl and Performance Technology (IPT) "boot camp" is designed to eliminate or reduce common barriers to accessing and participating in online and distance courses. The "boot camp" has several features which help support students' ability to complete the course successfully. Clearly specified objectives -- the IPT boot camp enables students to learn the basic knowledge and skills necessary for using the required software, Lotus Notes Database, as a learning and communication tool, and basic asynchronous communication skills and strategies necessary to become successful distance education students. Estimated completion times -- The IPT boot camp site provides estimated completion times for beginning, intermediate, and advanced computer users, both in terms of estimated number of hours and number of days required to complete the course. Clear, well-illustrated instructions -- The "Starting Boot Camp" page contains clear, concise instructions illustrated by screen captures.

Supporting Information for this Effective Practice
Evidence of Effectiveness: 

IPT's "boot camp" is an integral part of a series of interventions done to improve retention rates in the IPT program. From Fall 1989-1996, the average IPT program retention rate was 56% by the third course (i.e., 44% of online students dropped out of the program by their third course). After implementing the interventions, the retention rate increased to 78% within three semesters and to 85% by the end of 1999-2000 academic year.

Estimate the probable costs associated with this practice: 

none provided

References, supporting documents: 

Chyung, Y., "Improve the Motivational Appeal of Online Instruction for Adult Learners: What's in it for Me?" URL:

Contact(s) for this Effective Practice
Effective Practice Contact: 
Jo Ann Fenner, Associate Program Developer, Instructional & Performance Technology Dept., Boise State University
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