Teaching Writing in Online Distance Education: Supporting Student Success
An intervention is a counseling action an instructor may use to support a student who struggles to work productively in an online writing instruction (OWI) course. Interventions may increase retention and graduation rates at institutions as well as increase student and teacher satisfaction (Allen, Bourhis, Burrell, and Mabry, 2002; Archambault and Crippen, 2009; McCombs, Ufnar, and Shepherd, 2007; O’Dwyer, Carey, and Kleiman, 2007; Stein, Wanstreet, Calvin, Overtoom, and Wheaton, 2005; Sun, Tsai, Finger, Chen, and Yeh, 2008). In Moore’s (1993) Theory of Transaction Distance, interventions are called “advice and counsel,” and they are a crucial component of the program structure element in the theory. Many researchers recommend early identification and intervention for struggling students (Archambault et al., 2010; Simpson, 2004). For example, Simpson (2004) found that early interventions following Keller’s (1987) ARCS model (Attention, Relevance, Confidence and Satisfaction) were effective in helping students complete a course. In addition, Simpson found that such interventions could be cost effective; however, there are many open variables when calculating cost. As researchers and online instructors, the authors recommend early intervention activities performed by email and text messaging at many opportunistic intervention points during the course of the instruction. As well, developing an intervention strategy prior to course beginning to assist in planning and preparation is advocated and recommended.
Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration