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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.3/237957
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- Online training: sustainability in the face of unskilled, unsupervised, unmotivated 'long tail'
- Wise, Lisa; Williams, Benedict; McLean, Gregor; Skues, Jason
- Communities of discourse and market places often follow power laws with 'long tailed' distributions. The present student 'voucher' system and uncapped demand in higher education leads to an analogous 'long tail' in the tertiary sector. We argue that student attrition in the “long tail” is part of a natural democratic process of “churn” -legitimate peripheral participation which leads some students to the realisation that they are not sufficiently motivated or prepared for fuller participation in the academic community. We illustrate this idea with data from a task in an introductory psychology program to examine the relationship between persistence, performance, motivation and demographics. We found distinct subgroups whose performance is defined by levels of conscientiousness/motivation and initial skill. We suggest that it may be counterproductive to retain students who perform poorly or are disengaged. However, we also identified different patterns of performance and suggest that attrition can be attenuated by targeted interventions to improve initial performance of identified groups.
- Publication type
- Conference paper
- Research centre
- Swinburne University of Technology. Faculty of Higher Education, Lilydale
- Research centre
- Swinburne University of Technology. Faculty of Life and Social Sciences
- Proceedings of 'Future challenges, sustainable futures', the 29th Annual Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education Conference (ascilite 2012), Wellington, New Zealand, 25-28 November 2012 / M. Brown, M. Hartnett and T. Stewart (eds.), 1061-1070
- Publication year
- Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education
- Publisher URL
- Copyright © 2012 Lisa Wise, Ben Williams, Gregor McLean and Jason Skues. The author(s) assign to the ascilite and educational non-profit institutions, a non-exclusive licence to use this document for personal use and in courses of instruction, provided that the article is used in full and this copyright statement is reproduced. The author(s) also grant a non-exclusive licence to ascilite to publish this document on the ascilite website and in other formats for the Proceedings ascilite 2012. Any other use is prohibited without the express permission of the author(s).