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"Online Human Touch (OHT) Training & Support: A Conceptual Framework to Increase Faculty Engagement, Connectivity, and Retention in Online Education, Part 2" icon

Online Human Touch (OHT) Training & Support: A Conceptual Framework to Increase Faculty Engagement, Connectivity, and Retention in Online Education, Part 2

Enrollment growth in online education now far exceeds overall higher education growth in the United States. As reported by Allen and Seaman (2008), the online enrollment growth rate increased 12% from fall 2006 to fall 2007 while the overall higher education growth rate increased only 1.2%. In fall 2007, there were approximately 3.9 million students enrolled in at least one online course. It is predicted that online enrollments will continue to increase as a result of greater national acceptance of online education by employers, baby boomers returning to college, and a weak economy. Faculty are critical in meeting current and predicted online enrollment increases, particularly since their role extends beyond classroom instruction. Faculty play a vital role in student engagement, retention, and long-term program sustainability. Therefore, the Master of Science in Higher Education Program at Drexel University has developed and implemented the concept of Online Human Touch (OHT) training and support to proactively engage, connect, and retain online faculty. This interactive and personalized approach to working with online faculty has resulted in high retention rates and high levels of satisfaction for faculty and students. This article is the second of a two-part series that focuses on OHT in online education.

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