Graduation Year


Document Type

Ed. Specalist



Degree Granting Department

Instructional Technology

Major Professor

James White, Ph.D.

Committee Member

William Kealy, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Cheryl H. Fante, Ed.D.


online learning, drop rates, student perception, enhancing instruction, non-traditional instruction


The purpose of this study was to determine if there was a correlation between students' perception of corrective feedback and retention in online classes. A total of 134 community college students were enrolled in six online classes taught by three full-time instructors. The research questions addressed were as follows:

RQ1. How are the students' perception of corrective feedback and student retention related?

RQ2. Are students who attend course orientation meetings more likely to complete the course?

RQ3. Are students who attend distance learning technical workshops more likely to complete the course?

RQ4. Are students who have taken other online classes more likely to complete the course?

RQ5. How are the students' perceived computer skills and student retention related?

An exit survey was administered to gather quantitative data, which was then analyzed using Pearson's Phi Coefficient and Spearman's Rank Order Correlation. The study failed to indicate a sign significant relationship between (a) attending course orientation and retention, (b) attending technical workshops and retention, (c) prior online experience and retention, and (d) students' perception of computer experience and retention. The data indicates a significant relationship between students' perception of corrective feedback and retention.

It is important to note that despite every attempt to solicit students who dropped the course, the students who dropped tended not to return the survey. Therefore, the sample did not accurately represent the population. As a result of the sampling error, there is little variability in the dependent measure; thus, the results have the potential of being biased.

Based on the research finding for this study, educators would benefit from research studies that focus on the following: (a) exploring procedural changes (i.e. increasing the number of useable surveys, increasing the number of respondents, increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the data validation process, and increasing the generalizability of the study, (b) exploring student perception of quality, timeliness and consistency of corrective feedback, and (c) conducting individual case studies with online students.