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Title: Redefining dropping out in online higher education: a case study from the UOC
Author: Grau Valldosera, Josep
Minguillón Alfonso, Julià  
Keywords: distance education;dropping out;learning analytics;e-learning;higher education;educational data mining;ensenyament a distància;educación a distancia;abandono escolar;abandonament escolar;ensenyament superior;enseñanza superior;magatzems de dades educatives;almacenes de datos educativos;anàlisi de dades d'aprenentatge;análisis de datos de aprendizaje
Issue Date: Feb-2011
Citation: Grau, J.; Minguillón, J. (2011). "Redefining dropping out in online higher education: a case study from the UOC". A: Learning Analytics and Knowledge. Athabasca University. Banff. 27 de febrer.
Abstract: In recent years, studies into the reasons for dropping out of higher education (including online education) have been undertaken with greater regularity, parallel to the rise in the relative weight of this type of education, compared with brick-and-mortar education. However, the work invested in characterising the students who drop out of education, compared with those who do not, appears not to have had the same relevance as that invested in the analysis of the causes. The definition of dropping out is very sensitive to the context. In this article, we reach a purely empirical definition of student dropping out, based on the probability of not continuing a specific academic programme following several consecutive semesters of "theoretical break". Dropping out should be properly defined before analysing its causes, as well as comparing the drop-out rates between the different online programmes, or between online and on-campus ones. Our results show that there are significant differences among programmes, depending on their theoretical extension, but not their domain of knowledge.
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