Influence of motivational design on completion rates in online self-study pharmacy-content courses

Amy Pittenger, Aaron Doering

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Student retention rates are a constant concern in higher education, but this concern has become especially challenging as online courses become more common and there are widespread reports of low completion rates for online, self-study courses. We evaluated four self-study online pharmacy courses with a history of very high completion rates for motivational design features, as an explanation for the difference in completion rates between these classes and those reported in the literature. The validated Instructional Materials Motivation Survey [IMMS] (Keller, 1987) and an open-ended survey based on Keller's (1987) ARCS components were used to assess the design and instructional materials of these courses for motivational influence. Specifically, the ARCS components of attention, relevance, confidence, and satisfaction were measured and then compared. Findings suggest that the extent and type of educational scaffolding does impact the motivational effectiveness of self-study, in online pharmacy-content courses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-293
Number of pages19
JournalDistance Education
Volume31
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 21 2010

Keywords

  • ARCS
  • Attrition rates
  • Distance education
  • Motivational design
  • Online learning

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