Do learning technologies contribute to reduce student drop- out? - A systematic review


  • Berit Lassesen
  • Maria Hvid Stenalt
  • Dorte Sidelmann Rossen
  • Anna Bager-Elsborg


Learning technologies, Educational IT, Drop-out, Retention, Systematic review, Higher education


As technology is increasingly being used for teaching and learning in higher education, it is important to examine what tangible educational gains are being achieved. Reducing drop-out rates have been proposed as one possible beneficial effect of the use of learning technologies. It is unclear, however, whether the available evidence supports such claims. The aim of this study was to explore whether learning technologies applied in higher education contexts can contribute to reduce student drop-out rates, and under which circumstances do learning technologies influence drop-out? Method: Two independent searches were conducted in relevant databases; evaluated full-texts, quality rated the included studies, and synthesized the findings. Results: A total of 18 peer-reviewed studies were included. Based on the quality assessment, 10 studies were eligible to extended data synthesis. The assertion that learning technologies in higher education contribute to reduce student drop-out is only partly supported. Positive findings were in particular found in relation to pedagogical issues, e.g., individualized personal support. This is in line with previous research, indicating that it is not the technology itself, but how the technology is used pedagogically that matter to students.




How to Cite

Lassesen, B., Stenalt, M. H., Rossen, D. S., & Bager-Elsborg, A. (2022). Do learning technologies contribute to reduce student drop- out? - A systematic review. ASCILITE Publications. Retrieved from