Online learning growth continues, but opportunities for improvement remain

educationdive | March 27, 2019

Online learning growth continues, but opportunities for improvement remain
Large colleges are more likely to report growth in fully online courses (84%) compared to mid-size (60%) or small (48%) institutions, according to a new report, The Changing Landscape of Online Education (CHLOE 3), which surveyed 280 chief online officers at a mix of public and private two- and four-year nonprofit and for-profit colleges. Growth in blended courses lagged that of fully online offerings but was proportionally higher at smaller institutions.One reason for the wide gap between large and small colleges growing their fully online offerings is that the online learning market is becoming "increasingly crowded" and small colleges may be deterred from scaling up, the authors note.The survey also found "widespread interest" in alternative credentials but few colleges investing heavily in them. Additionally, online courses continued to be mostly asynchronous and mimic classroom-based approaches. However, the use of instructional designers is shown to have a "positive impact on student performance," the authors write. Overall, enrollment in fully online courses grew 10% from spring 2017 to spring 2018, according to CHLOE 3 data. However, one-third of chief online officers interviewed said fully online students performed worse than their campus-based peers while half said they performed about the same. The performance concerns were highest at community colleges.

Spotlight

Education is the base for a thriving society, and the transfer of knowledge has been a top priority for civilizations since the very beginning. People are constantly looking for ways to make knowledge transfer more easily, more quickly, and more effectively.In the era of digital devices, we have an opportunity to enable better learning with technology. Virtual Reality (VR) seems to be the natural next step for the evolution of education.

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