Logged In And Connected? A Quantitative Analysis Of Online Course Use And Alumni Giving

Andrew Tiger, Landon Preston

Abstract


Business and education stand out as two of the most prominent sectors affected by the rapid expansion of the Internet. A significant body of literature within business has been devoted to developing positive e-commerce exchanges that develop customer loyalty. While online education grows each year, the long-term significance of online education to develop a loyal alumni base has yet to be studied. Findings in marketing research literature on trust and loyalty provide exceptional significance for online education, especially in a tight economic climate that has forced colleges and universities to rely on alumni giving for operational support. This study examines the significance of online course use as a predictive variable for alumni giving at one medium sized, private liberal arts university using 3,450 students. The results show a negative correlation between the online classes and alumni giving, among other predictive variables used in alumni giving. The findings provide foundational insights for education administrators and fundraisers involved in online education and its effect on alumni giving.


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