Novice versus Experienced Online Graduate Student Expectations: A Comparative Analysis
Tuesday, June 23 1:30 PM-2:30 PM Location: Salon A
Presider: Ferdinand Guinko, Université Laval, Canada
Abstract: This paper is part of an overall study to determine reasons why students dropped out of a large-scale online graduate program in educational leadership at a Midwestern university. The purpose of this component of the study was to determine if differences in expectations existed between students who had prior experience with online courses compared to those who had no prior experience. It was hypothesized that if a disconnection exists between program expectations and student expectations students are more likely to drop out of a program. This study revealed that among the students who dropped out of an online graduate program those who had no prior experience with online classes were less certain about what to expect. The paper suggests possible ways to eliminate the disconnection between program expectations and student expectations. Having a plan in place to mitigate this disconnect serves both the student and the institution.