• Wednesday,26 September 2018
    12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
  • CB10.05.580, UTS UTS

An increasing number of students entering Australian higher education are doing so as external, online students. However, attrition rates for online students are considerably higher than for students studying primarily on-campus. Evidence suggests that the isolation of online study combined with the challenges of technology, academic expectations and pressure from other areas of students’ lives, are significant contributors to online student attrition. However, there is also evidence to indicate that a supportive and engaging online teaching and learning environment, can help to mitigate against these difficulties and lead to increased student retention.

Dr Cathy Stone will discuss the findings of a recent study conducted in 2016-2017, for an Equity Fellowship with the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE) at Curtin University. It focuses particularly on the findings about the importance of online ‘teacher presence’, combined with curriculum content and delivery that is engaging, inclusive and interactive in an online environment.

Register your attendance with the Teaching, Technologies and Innovation Support Unit (TTISU) in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences: TTISU@uts.edu.au for catering purposes.


Dr Cathy Stone
Conjoint Associate Professor, The University of Newcastle
Adjunct Fellow, National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE)

Dr Cathy Stone is an independent consultant and researcher in the field of post-secondary student equity, retention and success. Cathy’s publications focus particularly on the experiences of mature-age, first-in-family and online students. Cathy has previously held senior management roles in student support services at the University of Newcastle where she is currently a Conjoint Associate Professor in Social Work, as well as with Open Universities Australia which developed her strong interest in the online student experience.

In 2016-2017, Cathy undertook further research into improving outcomes for online students, as an Equity Fellow with the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE) at Curtin University, where she continues an Adjunct Fellow. The findings from this research have informed a set of National Guidelines for Improving Student Outcomes in Online Learning.