The coronavirus pandemic has raised a lot of questions about the future of online education.
Will it spur more colleges to launch online programs? What will happen to traditionally in-person degrees? And how can schools help instructors keep up with the pace of all this change?
The past seven months have offered some answers and a glimpse at what challenges and opportunities may be ahead. That's why Education Dive spoke with dozens of college officials, ed tech experts and other industry observers to learn how they're responding to the crisis and gearing up for what comes next.
Although their opinions vary, they can agree on one thing: Online learning will play a much larger role in the higher education sector going forward.
Colleges are adapting to this trend in several ways. Some institutions are using the moment to accelerate existing plans to grow their online footprints. Others, forced to take programs virtual that were designed to be in-person, are rethinking how they can incorporate online elements in perpetuity. And many schools are offering instructors more formalized support to help them teach online.
The following stories show these trends underway in response to the pandemic and offer insight into what changes may persist after it subsides.