Distance education futures: What are the factors that will affect how distance education develops in the future?

Simpson, Ormond (2021). Distance education futures: What are the factors that will affect how distance education develops in the future? In: Bordoloi, R. and Das, P. eds. Open Higher Education in the 21st Century. Nova Science Publishers, Inc., pp. 47–65.

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Abstract

This chapter surveys some of the characteristics that may affect the future development of distance education. It suggests that the most important feature is the issue of student retention and dropout. Distance education appears to have graduation rates of about a quarter or less than those of conventional education-the 'distance education deficit.' This has negative consequences for three of the most important features of distance education namely-costs, sustainability and access. The chapter looks at how various developments in distance education would affect dropout and how retention might be improved. Finally, it argues that the main barrier affecting student retention is ultimately the attitudes of some of the members of the distance education community, which should be changed.

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