Student Engagement in an Online Environment: Are We Trying to Mimic Contact Education? A South African Perspective

  • Sunet Eybers
  • Apostolos (Paul) GiannakopoulosEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering book series (LNICST, volume 160)


There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that human contact can never be replaced 100 % by any other means. When it comes to higher education it is not different. Graduation rates at contact institutions are higher than distance learning institutions. It is equally true that since the inception of distance education the assumption has been that the greater the duplication of contact education the greater the chance of success. Although the content could be identical in both modes of delivering education, and the difference is contact versus non-contact from there on the differences exceed the similarities.

This study examines existing literature in student engagement and uses post facto research. Then it proposes a framework which could enhance student participation which increases the possibility of graduation of a student in an Open Distance Learning institution.


Student engagement Graduation rates Attrition eLearning Open Distance Learning 


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Copyright information

© Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sunet Eybers
    • 1
  • Apostolos (Paul) Giannakopoulos
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.University of South AfricaPretoriaSouth Africa

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