Betts, K. (2009). Online human touch (OHT) training & support: A conceptual framework to increase faculty and adjunct faculty engagement, connectivity, and retention in online education, part 2. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 5(1), 29.
In describing how Drexel University’s Master of Science in Higher Education (MSHE) Program in the School of Education realized a student retention rate of 83% and a three-year faculty retention rate of 93% Betts outlines the conceptual framework for Online Human Touch (OHT). Initially developed to increase student engagement and satisfaction, the concept has been developed to engage, connect, and retain online full-time and part-time faculty. A brief review of the literature reveals that attrition rates are often as high as 70%-80% for online programs for students. Studies are lacking pertaining to the attrition rates of faculty and even fewer studies look at full-time vs. part-time or online vs on-campus programs. The article details, in quite detail, the components of OHT and how it was implemented at Drexel University. Components discussed include faculty engagement, community development, personalized communication, faculty development, data driven decision-making. The OHT premise is that beginning with the recruitment and hiring process and continuing throughout their teaching careers online faculty realize they are part of a larger team and experience the support needed through extensive online communities. Comparative data between online and on-campus programs do not exist because an on-campus program for MSHE does not exist.