“Today, digital innovation is driving unprecedented change across the education sector. In doing so, it has the potential to both improve student learning outcomes and expand access to high-quality education opportunities in ways that would have been unimaginable even a decade ago…” - From Education and Skills 2.0: New Targets and Innovative Approaches
Number of students who took an online course in 2011: 6.7 Million
The investment in online education in 2012: 91 Billion
Technological innovations are transforming both what happens in the college classroom, as well as how students are supported in the admission process and enrollment. At scale, higher education’s migration to online will redefine what it means to provide a great education to students.
86.5% : According to Babson Survey Research Group, as of 2012, all but 13.5 % of institutions had some online offerings.
Universities offering online degree programs nearly doubled from 2002 to 2012.
Nonprofit institutions with online degree programs more than doubled from 2002 to 2012.
While these investments create new competition in the market, a focus on the market overlooks the potential educational value generated from these investments. Online education is producing vast amounts of data on student learning outcomes, data of the sort that was previously unavailable to student and educators. It will allow academic institutions to better deliver and market their degrees to the right type of students. And it will let students personalize their educational experience to best suit their needs, increasing the chance they graduate and succeed after.
Help predict student success
Improve graduation rates and student retention
Determine what a learner does and does not know
Monitor a student's behavior and level of engagement
Notify a professor when learner is getting off track, bored, or frustrated
Increase engagement via game mechanics
Personalize the learning process
Reduce classroom administrative work
Help faculty refine content to keep relevant
Facilitate both global and local community development
Measure student performance beyond test scores
Online education generates a wide variety of data, which universities can use to improve the student learning experience. These data include:
School district or university
Time on page
Do different segments of class perform differently on an assessment?
Do tailored questions improve learning outcomes for different groups?
Does the question actually assess what it is supposed to?
Universities and colleges must overcome the following challenges to take advantage of data that online education offers.
Historically slow to change
Innovation is nearly always incremental
Success in education is difficult to measure
Education has historically been very labor-intensive
Need for broadband Internet access may leave out unconnected households
Inadequate technology infrastructure may slow institutional adoption
Outside vendors, both for profit and nonprofit, are moving into higher educational space, a space that was historically left to colleges and universities.
The Open University
University of Phoenix
London School of Business and Finance
University of Atlanta
California Southern University
American Honors College
3 Global Agenda Council on Education and Skills, “Education and Skills 2.0: New Targets and Innovative Approaches, 2014
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