School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Beth Ackerman, Scott Watson


Blackboard, Correlation, course completion rates, online education, retention rates, teacher Interaction


Curriculum and Instruction | Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Methods | Higher Education | Other Education


The extent in which a teacher communicates with his or her students in an online setting may affect student course completion rates. The increased use of online courses and degree programs at the post-secondary level has fundamentally changed the way faculty members and students interact, and ultimately may impact student course completion rates. Course completion is an aspect of student retention. The purpose of this quantitative correlational research study was to analyze the correlation between faculty interaction with online undergraduate students in required introductory English composition courses and student completion rates in those courses. Blackboard is a learning management system used for interaction between teachers and students in online courses. The number of interactions a teacher has with students on Blackboard may affect the retention rates of students in a particular course. This study examined and compared the data from faculty Blackboard interaction and student completion rates using SPSS. There was a positive correlation between the amount of times faculty accessed Blackboard and student course completion rates. However, there was no statistically significant correlation between the amount of times a faculty member responded to students’ discussion board posts on Blackboard and the students’ course completion rates. Suggestions for further research are included.