This study examined factors affecting withdrawal rates using a selection of high school and college-level courses from BYU Independent Study (BYU IS). Exposure to BYU Open Courseware (OCW) curriculum prior to registration had no significant effect on withdrawal rates. Prior enrollment in a BYU IS course had a statistically significant positive effect on withdrawal rates, a surprising result. Further HLM analysis of 83,707 students indicated that at least some of the variability in student withdrawal behavior at the high school level was influenced by prior enrollment, the online course format, and courses offered in the fine arts. For both high school and college courses, students enrolled in an online (rather than paper-based "correspondence") course were less likely to withdraw than their paper-based peers. Finally, for college courses, students enrolled in lower division courses were more likely to withdraw from their courses. Students enrolled in Career and Counseling, Engineering Technology, Life Sciences, Family Home and Social Sciences, College of Fine Arts and Communications, Marriott School of Business, or Religious Education courses were less likely to withdraw from their courses than students enrolling in courses from other colleges.
College and Department
David O. McKay School of Education; Instructional Psychology and Technology
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Stevens, Mary Margaret Dickson, "The Effects of Previous Exposure to Independent Study Courses and Open Courseware on Withdrawal from Subsequent Independent Study Courses" (2012). All Theses and Dissertations. 3165.
withdrawal, Open Courseware, OCW, retention, distance learning, online learning