One in four university students in Australia drops out, according to a report released by the Grattan Institute. It is clear that students who struggle a lot are more likely to drop out, with support satisfaction and dropping out strongly interlinked, so the question of how we can improve this statistic remains.
With education our largest service export (Universities Australia, 2017), it's important that our universities are able to both attract, but also crucially, retain students. And this means tackling the problem of drop-out rates head on.
Stress a key factor in drop-outs
Stress appears to be one of the principal reasons why students struggle at university. Whilst there are a myriad of contributions to the stress students experience, 40 per cent of respondents in the 2018 National Student Well-being survey said that 24/7 online support for when they're not in class or off campus would help them combat study stress. The same report also showed that that 51 per cent of Australian university students have thought about abandoning their degree as a result of the pressures caused by isolated studying.
Reducing stress through on-demand, online study help
Universities are often perceived as institutions that take time to change, but with so many students now immersed in the online world, universities must also match this. For example, 19 per cent of Australian tertiary students believe physical campuses will cease to exist in 20 years. The figure jumped significantly for students with rural post codes, standing at 25 per cent for regional Queensland and 36 per cent for Tasmania. Thousands of students are already largely accessing much of their learning online, and this needs to spread even further.
Not only does the ability to study online fit more seamlessly into students' personal lives, it also goes a long way in reducing stress. Sometimes, attending weekly lectures are not enough for students to confidently feel that they can complete their assignments. However, as class sizes grow and lecturers become even more time-poor, students have less access to core study skills support.
Online study help that students can access at a time that suits them, provides students with this much-needed extra help, without putting added pressure on lecturers and other teaching staff.
"It's significant that 1 in 5 students doesn't think it's essential for a campus to be part of their experience." @jackaroo2000 in @FinancialReview about our recent study with Australian students. https://t.co/AQUm03WFtY— Studiosity (@studiosity) February 13, 2018
Study help with Studiosity
While lecturers will always provide the core information and coursework, study help services such as Studiosity allow students to feel that they've got the basics right. For example, the Connect Live service offers core subject support that takes students through the specific problem they're stuck on, in real time, focusing on how to get to the answer rather than on the answer itself.
Likewise the Writing Feedback service provides commentary on a student's document, and highlights examples within their work where a student has made a particular error, to help them identify and correct that error in future.
The efficacy of Studiosity is proven. At James Cook University, students who used Studiosity received nearly one GPA score higher than those who did not. This was evident regardless of gender, ethnicity, OP class or mode of delivery (online vs on-campus).
Had some really good feedback on grammar, academic writing style and referencing from @studiosity ... returned in 6 hours of submission. A really great service - highly reccommend!— Amy (@AmyMarshNurse) May 17, 2018
Drop-out rates will never get to zero, and indeed it's important that people can try out university and are able to stop if they feel it isn't for them. However, what we don't want is students that leave because they are stressed, rather than because they don't suit university or further study. A study-help service like Studiosity can help relieve this stress after hours, helping students to get the marks they want, and feel more confident in the process.
For more information, reach out to the team at Studiosity today.
Studiosity (2018). 2018 National student survey: Wellbeing and study responses from Australian students. Available at: https://www.studiosity.com/2018studentsurvey
Universities Australia. (2017). Key Facts & Data. [online] Available at: https://www.universitiesaustralia.edu.au/australias-universities/key-facts-and-data#.W6R9u5MzZAZ