Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Using Early Warning System to Reduce Attrition in Online Learners

 One of the most important tools faculty can use to reduce attrition rate in non-traditional students enrolled in online courses is Blackboard's integrated tool - Early Warning System.  When set up properly, this tool alerts the instructor to students who are at-risk of failing their online course.

Here is how it works.  The instructor sets the criteria and can communicate the particular warning to the student(s).  In addition, the instructor has control over the message each time a warning is created, and also has the choice to use the default message or to modify it to more accurately communicate the seriousness of the situation.  By keeping track of online students' at-risk academic behavior, faculty can plan successful interventions that will scale down attrition rates and improve retention. 

It is still early in the semester and you have time to explore the use of this tool further.  If you are interested, go to http://twuid.pbworks.com/w/page/22561339/Early%20Warning%20System%20Bb9 for a handy help sheet on setting up an Early Warning System in your course or you may contact the Instructional Design Specialist that is assigned to your College, School or Department for additional assistance. 

Also, feel free to leave comments of your success of challenges in using this tool.  We would love to hear and learn from you!

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