What Are The Biggest Online Learning Trends And Challenges?

Online learning takes many forms these days. From all-online degree programs to taking one class online as part of a more traditional, in person degree program, to blended and flipped classrooms, more and more teachers and students have some type of online component to their teaching and learning. 

Since learning online can take many different forms, it is interesting to look at some of the trends and challenges that moving from an in-person to a virtual environment can pose. The handy infographic below (from the awesome folks over at Education Dive), takes a gander at some of the trends in online learning (and a few fun statistics) and some of the challenges that online learning poses. Do you teach online? What challenges do you face? Weigh in by leaving a comment below, mentioning @Edudemic on Twitter or leaving your thoughts on our Facebook page.

Online Learning Trends and Challenges

  • Decision making for online programs is increasingly being centralized to the provost level
  • This ensures better risk management, efficiency, and quality
  • 2.6 million students are currently enrolled in fully-online degree programs
  • 5.5 million students are taking at least one online course
  • 54% of online students are enrolled at an institution within 100 miles from home
  • 80% of online students want to bring credit with them from another program
  • 66% did not choose the least expensive program
  • 50% would need financial aid
  • 20% wouldn’t attend if they did not receive aid
  • The vast majority of students preferred “90% job placement” when shown 18 different marketing messages

Tips For Success (For Schools)

  • Start small and scale up as needed
  • All stakeholders should be involved from the beginning
  • Change skeptics minds with results instead of butting heads
  • If programs are already in place, leverage the experience of those that have already been involved
  • Fine tune programs before attempting to scale up
  • Don’t forget to collect and analyze data!
  • Don’t forget that online students are different than traditional students – but different doesn’t mean they need any less support!

online learning trends


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