New Resilience for the New Normal: Online Students’ Early Strategies for Course Persistence at the Beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic

George Stuart, Kate Graham, Tina McAdie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Student attrition is now a global problem in Higher Education with most institutions experiencing high volumes of early exiting students. However, student resilience has yet to be adequately explored, particularly among the increasing online student population, as a possible mechanism to reduce attrition rates. In the present study, online, undergraduate students were asked two qualitative, open-ended questions to elicit their subjective understanding of resilience in the context of their university study. Thematic analysis identified that health-, work-, and relationship-related experiences were the top-three stressful experiences described by students. Academic management, self-care, and positive psychology techniques were the most common student coping strategies. The findings suggest a highly individualized conceptualization of what might predict retention or attrition. Findings are discussed in the context of assisting online, undergraduate students to utilize their resilience to persist in university.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory and Practice
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 03 Sept 2023

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