Student Retention and the course choice process: the UK Open University experience.
Journal of Access Policy and Practice, 2(1) pp. 44–58.
There is evidence that a student's initial choice of course is an important influence on their subsequent success and retention. This article argues that course descriptions on their own are an inadequate guide to the choice of appropriate course and that in mass higher education individual guidance will be costly to institutions. Other methods of course-choice advice delivery are needed, such as preview materials, students' comments on courses and diagnostic materials. The article reviews the UKOU's experience of these methods and suggests that not only do they promote more accurate course choice but that they also enhance students' confidence in their choice. The article also argues that there can be considerable positive financial return on investment to institutions in the use of such materials.
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