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How Motivation Can Lead to Graduation


Student Attrition

It’s not enough that students are paying to do the online course, but after some time, they are in fact running out of self-control. Dr David Glance from the University of Western Australia’s Centre for Software Practice ran a study into drop out rates in MOOCs classes (Massive Open Online Classes) which are free and open to anyone. In the article he compares doing a course online to going to the gym, or going on a diet. At first they sound like great ideas, but they always end up dropping out due to how easy it is to quit.

A report by Dr Christine Fanthome states that a large element that contributes to the drop out rates is the lack of spoon-feeding. Because there are no trainers constantly chasing you up for the assessments, and providing constant reminders as to when tests and exams are, a lot of students suffer due to their lack of independence. Now that’s no fault of theirs, considering that when you are in school, you are spoon-fed throughout. So once you’re thrown into the wide world of post secondary school life all of a sudden it can be quite difficult finding your feet.

So how do we, as an online institute, aim to help students who are running out of self-control? Well this is currently the number one question that a lot of course providers are trying to answer. It all boils down to fostering motivation in the student.

Lack of Motivation

Motivation is what entices people to make a decision. Motivation is what people use to do tasks, whether they wish to do it or not. If someone is doing something they enjoy, they generally have a higher motivation over people who are forced to do a task they don’t like. So is this what it is all about? Students generally end up dropping out due to their wants fading. It could be that they wanted to do the course initially, but then after some time they start dreading it.

What Can We Do?

One factor that is a key driver in retaining students in the online courses is the sense of belonging. Due to the online experience, it means trainers can spend more time with their students, and in doing so, can create that feeling of belonging, which then resulted in a greater enjoyment for the course.

There are various techniques of creating that ‘homely’ feeling for the students, such as:

  • Ice-Breaker: Forcing students to partake in interactive activities at the beginning of the course in order for them to get used to how the course will flow.
  • Student Lounge: Having a place for open discussion between students, where they can talk beyond that of their assessments. Think of a virtual common room.
  • Regular communication between teacher and student.

A contentious element is that of encouraging group assessments. On the one hand, the students would be forced to work with each other in order to complete the assessment, thus encouraging interaction between them. However, some students showed in a study that one of the reasons they did the online courses was due to the fact that they could avoid working with other students. This of course depends on whether the provider includes group work as a part of their curriculum.

At Career Life College, we have student support services in place to ensure that you are receiving the right amount of support in relation to how well  you are tracking in the course. Simply put, students who are performing at a lower rate will receive more support from our trainers over a student who is completing their work on schedule. We want to ensure that every single student who walks in the door, ends up leaving with a diploma or a certificate.

We don’t want anyone to fall off the radar so we work diligently to ensure that we can do the best that we can to help students achieve success in their course and post study.

We have an assortment of career counsellors on hand in order to assist students in making sure they are picking the right course, based on what it is they wish to do as their end-goal for their career. Our counsellors can then assist in putting you on the right path to accomplishing those goals.

What Can You Do?

Explore student services if you find yourself struggling to complete the course.

Our trainers are always available for our students who need help understanding assessments or even just the course material. If you find yourself struggling work through it with our staff.

Ask for an extension. At CLC, students can ask the trainers for an extension on their units if they need it, and we are more than happy to oblige and rework their study plan.

Seek alternatives. Talk to a career adviser if you feel like dropping out of a course. Find out what alternatives are out there that might better serve your needs.

Evidently, increasing motivation in the student comes down to both parties, the teacher and learner, on working together in order to make the study experience more engaging. Sometimes it isn’t even about the materials being taught, but rather, that the student was in the wrong course to begin with.


Author: Josh Di Falco


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