The purpose of the study is to find out “Why the level of adult online dropout is increasing and how to motivate and retain the adult online sophomore students?” Various issues that may lead to an online dropout may vary from issue of isolation, disconnectedness to technological problems. According to an online survey conducted to understand the various reasons of online dropouts of sophomore students, reasons are varied and unique to each individual dropout.
Although there are very less literature work as well as national statistics on online adult sophomore dropouts, a recent report published in “Chronicle of Higher Education” indicates that “Institutions report dropout rates ranging from 20 to 50 percent for online learners and administrators of online courses agree that dropout rates are often 10 to 20 percentage points higher in online offerings than in their face-to-face counterparts” (Frankola, n.d.). The Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP), in a research report conducted in the 1999, on the effectiveness of online learning, found that there are higher rate of sophomore dropouts in online learning than the traditional institutions.
There are two theories which may provide an outline on dropout of online adult sophomore students. Tinto’s Student Integration Model and Bean’s Model of Student Departure are the two theories. The “Tinto’s Student Integration Model theory theorizes how well the individual’s motivation and academic ability match the institution’s academic and social characteristics. This match shapes a person’s commitment to completing college and commitment to the institution. The second theory, Bean’s Model of Student Departure, predicts persistence based on behavioral intention” (Willging & Johnson, 2004, p. 104).
According to the US Census Bureau (2000), “one in every three Americans is a sophomore dropout”. It is becoming a