- The rapid growth of online learning in higher education will likely ebb and even off by 2020, according to a new report.
- The study, produced by Learning House and Aslanian Market Research, predicts the market will peak at
4 million students in about two years amid strong competition among colleges, according to Study International. The online course market grew by 3% in 2017.
- The report provides four key findings: Courses should be mobile friendly, online students need access to career services, online programs are becoming increasingly diverse and are believed by participants to be a good value. About 86% of online students surveyed said they feel “the value of their degree equals or exceeds the cost they paid for it,” which is a higher percentage than for those who just took traditional face-to-face courses.
About half of all online students who took the Learning House-Aslanian survey reported using a career advisor whenever offered seeking resume help, and 40 percent said they got assistance with their job search. The report said “online access to career services is an integral part of a high-touch institution’s value.”
Another analysis of the report showed that while price is important to online learners, 24% said that the program they chose best matched their interests or needs and only 19% said they selected it because it was the cheapest program available when asked about the "single most important reason" for choosing the program. One of the study’s authors in an interview noted that universities and colleges should look to lower the price of online programs but also market them to show value.
Meanwhile, Study International recently reported that the University of London is working with the education technology company Coursera to offer a computer science degree entirely online, and that in China, by the beginning of 2017, about 10 million students were expected to be learning through massive open online courses (MOOCs).
The Learning House-Aslanian study joins other recent reports about how online education will develop in the future, what students think about it and the affect it will have on colleges. Another report found that 74% of online students rated their satisfaction level as satisfied or very satisfied, and an Arizona State University study also showed that retention rates were improved by online learning.