Technology and drop-out rates

Purpose/research question

A systematic review of 1483 international articles from 2007-2017

The objective of the study is to obtain more knowledge about whether inclusion of digital learning technologies can reduce dropout rates - and under what conditions. The aim is to communicate local strategic initiatives within educational IT and to produce research results that can contribute to existing knowledge about the appropriate use of learning technology in university teaching and learning.


Much of the educational debate is based on expectations regarding the correlation between certain types of teaching and learning. One assumption is that inclusion of digital learning technologies leads to better teaching, and that, as a result, a positive impact can be expected on measurements of time on task, learning outcomes and not least on university drop-out rates. Such expectations may lead to political decisions on digital initiatives and large financial investments. In order to examine whether inclusion of learning technology can meet such expectations, a survey was conducted from 2017-2018 of international studies describing drop-out rates for university students from university programmes or subjects that use learning technology to a higher or lesser extent.

Data and analyses

The survey was conducted as a systematic review of peer-reviewed studies. The studies were searched in the databases: EBSCO HOST ProQuest, Web of Science and Scopus using a search string designed to identify studies on this topic from the period 2007-2017.

Discussion and perspectives (if finished)

Status: current

Dorte Sidelmann Rossen

Special Consultant, Educational it Team Leader