Returning after taking a break in online distance higher education: from intention to effective re-enrollment

Josep Grau-Valldosera, Julià Minguillón, Anabel Blasco-Moreno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch

17 Citations (Scopus)


© 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. One of online distance learning’s positive attributes is its flexibility. However, the possibility of engaging in periods of non-enrollment (breaks) usually ends in students dropping out. In this paper, the intention to continue of those students who have not enrolled in the second semester is analyzed, adopting a long-term program perspective. This continuance intention is compared with the subsequent restart (or dropping out) in the third semester. This analysis has confirmed that the models of continuance intention and effective re-enrollment are essentially different. Continuance intention is more rational, even logical, and is mainly based on the level of satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the educational experience (difficulty of the learning materials or perception of the learning system). Effective re-enrollment is more practical or pragmatic, with more importance given to the effects of student dimension variables, for example, motivations for studying, previous university experience, or environmental variables, such as having a job.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-323
JournalInteractive Learning Environments
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2019


  • continuance intention
  • Distance education
  • dropout
  • enrollment
  • online distance learning
  • retention


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