Quality Matters and Eduventures Research Present The 2018 Changing Landscape of Online Education Report

Industry: Education

QM and Eduventures Research Present The 2018 Changing Landscape of Online Education Report: A Window Into the Strategy and Policy Decisions Inspiring Chief Online Officers at America’s Colleges and Universities.

Annapolis, MD (PRUnderground) March 28th, 2018

Building upon the inaugural Changing Landscape of Online Education (CHLOE) survey and report, Quality Matters and Eduventures Research – the research division of NRCCUA –  conducted an expanded CHLOE survey for 2018.

Surveying Chief Online Officers, those who manage online education for their institutions, the report unveils important trends in the management of online learning, current and emerging tools and methods in the field, regulation and accreditation challenges, and quality assurance activities. The first CHLOE Survey set the stage for wider discussion of these issues, and CHLOE 2 drills deeper to understand the underlying dynamics.

Participation in the second CHLOE survey increased by 75%, to 180 US colleges and universities, including public, private and for-profit institutions.

What we learn in CHLOE 2 

The increased sample size confirmed and refined findings from CHLOE 1 on the following topics:

  •    Enrollment trends and competition
  •    Organizational models
  •    Tuition policy
  •    Budgeting and strategic planning
  •    Online course development, compensation and ownership
  •    Online outcomes metrics
  •    Current and planned technology and pedagogy
  •    Quality assurance practices

Key findings in the report include:

  • Online Enrollment Growth –  Online enrollment growth continues to outpace overall enrollment growth in US higher education but CHLOE 2 also found evidence of flattening growth. A large minority of Chief Online Officers reported flat or declining fully online student headcount, consistent with a crowded market and declining adult enrollment at undergraduate level.
  • Online v. Blended –  Few institutions make blended learning a strategic focus, which the CHLOE 2 report argues is distinct from offering lots of online courses. At many schools, online courses have emerged organically over many years driven by faculty and student choice more than institutional commitment to a particular blend.
  • Impact of Instructional Design Expertise – The presence of Instruction Design support in course design is consistent with a higher degree of reported student-to-student interaction — one of the most widely accepted best practices in effective online learning.
  • Strategic Goals – Chief Online Officers continue to most commonly cite enrollment growth as a strategic  priority for online programs, despite increasing competition. Enhancement of the student experience and cost reduction were noted much less often.
  • Technology Adoption – Interest expressed in adopting new technologies suggests that learning analytics is the only currently non-mainstream technology destined for truly mainstream adoption in the near future.
  • External Quality Assurance – The principal reasons why a majority of institutions have not engaged in external quality assurance of their online programs are cost and the belief that  internal QA processes are sufficient.

Ron Legon, QM Executive Director Emeritus and co-lead of the CHLOE project explains, “We believe you’ll find the CHLOE 2 Report relevant, informative and actionable.” Legon added, “The CHLOE 3 Survey, soon to be released, will shift focus to in-depth coverage of select issues such as the prevalence of blended learning, the governance of online programs, the acquisition and interpretation of student outcomes data, and the process of quality assurance as practiced in different sectors.”

Richard Garrett, Eduventures’ Chief Research Officer and co-lead of the project added, “We recognize that online is part of the mainstream. Online learning has changed higher education, but higher education also shaped online learning.” Garrett went on to say, “CHLOE 2 attempts to get behind the word “online” and explore different models and variables. This is essential if students, faculty and institutions are to get the most value from online learning.”

The co-authors of the report, Ron Legon for Quality Matters and Richard Garrett for Eduventures, are available for comment. Email Ron Legon rlegon@qualitymatters.org or Richard Garrett rgarrett@eduventures.com with questions or to request an interview.

This report is available to the online learning community through the partnership of QM and Eduventures and the support of sponsors iDesign and ExtensionEngine. To download the report, visit quality matters.

If you are a Chief Online Officer and wish to participate in the next CHLOE Survey, or if you wish to nominate the COO at your institution, email QM’s Manager of Research & Development, Barbra Burch at bburch@qualitymatters.org to learn more.

About NRCCUA® 

The National Research Center for College and University Admissions™ is an educational data science and research organization serving over 1,800 member institutions comprised of public and private colleges and universities across the nation. For 44 years, NRCCUA has been a leading provider of data, technology and programs serving students, high school educators, colleges and universities from its offices in Lee’s Summit, MO, Boston, MA, New York, NY, and Austin, TX. These solutions represent the link between students making important life decisions and those providing the resources and information they need to succeed in their post-secondary educations and careers. With the launch of Encoura™ Data Lab, the company now combines data science, advanced analytics, research, predictive modeling and omnichannel enrollment services in one platform to enable institutions to make real-time strategic and operational decisions to meet their unique enrollment goals and create the highest probability of student success. For more information, visit ​https://encoura.org

About Quality Matters

Grounded in research. Driven by best practices. A community that puts learners first. Quality Matters (QM) is the global organization leading quality assurance in online and innovative digital teaching and learning environments. It provides a scalable quality assurance system for online and blended learning used within and across organizations. When you see QM Certification Marks on courses or programs, it means they have met QM Course Design Standards or QM Program Review Criteria in a rigorous review process.

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