Angelino & Natvig

A Conceptual Model for Engagement of the Online Learner

Lorraine M. Angelino, Lander University
Deborah Natvig, Lander University


Engagement of the online learner is one approach to reduce attrition rates. Attrition rates for classes taught through distance education are 10 – 20% higher than classes taught in a face-to-face setting. This paper introduces a Model for Engagement and provides strategies to engage the online learner. The Model depicts various opportunities where student-instructor, student-student, student-content, and student-community engagement can occur. The Model is divided into four strategic areas: (a) recruitment, (b) coursework, (c) post coursework, and (d) alumni. The theoretical framework for the model is Tinto‟s student integration model. The conceptual design of the model is based on engagement practices from an online Health Care Management (HCMT) certificate program at a university in South Carolina.


Distance education, model, attrition, retention, engagement, integration, persistence, online, learning

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