The impact of a cohort model for online doctoral student retention and success

Debra Hoven, Rima Al Tawil, Kathryn Johnson, Nikki Pawlitschek, Dan Wilton

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Two critical decisions were made in the design of Canada's first fully online doctoral program discussed in this chapter: to create a professional Doctorate in Education rather than a PhD and to enroll students as cohorts each year. The first decision was based on the contemporary need within the field of online higher education for discipline specialists to have a solid background in online education principles and practice. The second decision was made on the basis of literature around benefits for graduate students. However, little sustained research has been carried out on what specific benefits may accrue for doctoral students participating in a cohort-based program in an online environment. This chapter presents and discusses the outcomes of two research studies on a cohort model, to provide insights into some of the personal and other factors identified as early warning indicators of student difficulties and how and when they arise.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEarly Warning Systems and Targeted Interventions for Student Success in Online Courses
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9781799850755
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun. 2020


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