The Open University of Israel (OUI) is a higher education institution with an open admission policy which is based solely on distance learning and self-study. The teaching method practiced at the OUI is a combination of traditional and web-based distance learning. One of the issues of great concern in all institutions and even to a greater extent in open and distance learning institutions is student retention. In an attempt to deal with this problem, the OUI decided to embark on a Retention Project which aim is to help new students to overcome the hardships of the first course. The new students were offered to be paired up with senior students who would accompany and coach them throughout their first semesters. This paper describes the Retention Project, and it presents results concerning the performance of the coached students, their retention at the OUI and the means of communication used by the coached students and their coaches in a distance learning environment.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2014 Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
- distance learning
- higher education
- means of communication
- open university
- student retention