Joni Dunlap and I recently had the following paper published in EDUCAUSE Quarterly.
Dunlap, J. C., & Lowenthal, P. R. (2010). Defeating the Kobayashi Maru: Supporting Student Retention by Balancing the Needs of the Many and the One. EDUCAUSE Quarterly, 33(3).
In this article we share strategies for establishing personal, one-on-one relationships between online students and faculty, to attend to identity, individualization, and interpersonal interaction in support of student engagement and retention. Rather than focus on high-tech solutions, we focus on low-tech solutions — the telephone and e-mail — that all faculty and students have at their disposal. These strategies address the needs of the individual within a learning community by striving for balance between group and individual interactions — between the needs of the many and the one.