THE CHALLENGE: Improve Student Grades through Increased Motivation
Oakton Community College is a student-friendly institution offering traditional and online courses and programs at two campuses and more than 240 off-site locations in northern Chicago. This level of flexibility supports a diverse student body but can present challenges for instructors.
One such instructor is Leslie Van Wolvelear, Co-Chair, Student Advisor, and Professor of Accounting. One of her biggest challenges was student motivation, particularly in online courses. While Leslie’s courses were vibrant and diverse, her students often struggled with procrastination and follow-through.
“Students simply stopped completing their assignments. I found myself picking up the phone and calling them to try and push them to succeed,” Leslie said.
Students complained about the amount of time it took to complete homework, and Leslie saw motivation and participation quickly decline.
Attrition rates in online courses rose to 39% in Fall 2017.
Oakton reacted quickly, and school leadership established student persistence and engagement as an institutional priority. Instructors were asked to do everything in their power to aid student success. With this in mind, Leslie began her quest to meaningfully improve student motivation.