attribution in online education

4 Ways To Reduce Attrition in Online Courses


Online education has a promising future. Students across the world are opting for online courses. However, low completion rate has always been a matter of debate.

It’s possible to cut down on drop-outs and improve completion rates of online courses. Here are four most effective ways to reduce attrition in online classes.

attribution online course

About 5.8 million students enrolled in at least one online course in 2014.This marked an increase by 3.7 from the year 2013.

But 30-65% of US students enrolled in online courses drop out before completion.

Steps to Improve Course Completion Rate:

1. Establish Relationship with Learners Right from the Start: Time moves faster in digital landscape. Without delaying the relationship building for later, be quick to ‘know’ your learners and make them comfortable in the very beginning of the course.

  • Use ‘virtual icebreaking’ tools like chat and video
  • Remember your learners’ names

2. Create a collaborative learning culture: Online learning environments invite students from varying places across the globe. It can result in feelings of isolation and disconnect. Counter this by helping learners develop a connection with each other and encourage learning by sharing.

  • Invite your learners to share ideas
  • Assign regular group activities

3. Let Your Learners Help You: No course is either ‘good’ or ‘bad’ but there are always areas to improve. Ask your learners what they like about your course, what they would like to change, what they would like to discuss in their next class, etc.

  • Make use of data to identify issues
  • Collect student feedback

4. Know Where Your Learners Struggle: The learning path isn’t a straight line. Design your course in a way that you’re ready to help learners when they struggle.

  • Address challenges through a weekly video chat
  • Provide learners with supplemental learning material



  • Anderson, T. (2004). Toward a theory of online learning. In T. Anderson & F. Elloumi (Eds.), Theory and Practice of Online Learning (pp. 33-60). Canada: Athabasca University. Retrieved from:
  • Angelino et al. (July 2007) The Journal of Educators Online, Volume 4, Number 2. 6-8 p. Retrieved from:
Amanjot Kaur

A marketer by profession and an explorer by nature. I love to read, learn, travel, experiment with new music and food, and have a good laugh.

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