The DIDO consortium has, each in their own country, carried out a quantitative and qualitative research regarding dropout of adult learners. Each analysis gave an insight in the occurrence of dropout in the respective institution, the reasons for dropout of adult learners and the existing activities and measures in dealing with the prevention of dropout of adult students.
Partners identified the main reasons for dropout in adult education. We narrowed the reasons down to six major clusters to work with in the next stage of the project.
- It was found that students dropout due to organisational issues, such as planning, location, infrastructures and curricular management;
- On the other hand personal reasons are an important factor why students dropout. These are all causes associated with family, finances and health issues of a student but also reasons that can be influenced during the education process: student performance anxiety, learning style, self-confidence and effort;
- Often students lack certain skills needed to go through the courses, such as skills related with study method, time management, ICT, foreign languages and skills and knowledge previously acquired;
- Also the lack of well defined goals and a concrete notion of the opportunities, benefits and added value at personal and professional levels, associated with the course and education makes them dropout;
- Class dynamics which involves the interaction between student-teacher, student-class and the way the teacher does the class management (including differentiating between students, adapting the explanations to the level of the student and giving proper feedback) is an important reason for dropout;
- Students often have the wrong expectations about the curriculum, the schedule and the level of difficulty of the courses, which often causes a reality check during their studies which leads to dropping out;
- Motivation is an overall factor explaining why students dropout as well. Although "motivation" is one of the most mentioned reasons for dropout, it is a consequence of reasons and not a reason by itself.