12 Questions (Opinions) to Advance Your Online Education Strategy
The growing demand for online learning is nothing new, but it will continue. From pre-pandemic 2012 to 2019, the percentage of students enrolled in at least one distance learning course increased from 25.5% to 36.3%. And the number of students enrolled in such courses alone has increased by almost a third, from 2.6 million he to 3.4 million. With new enrollments and student and faculty survey data emerging daily, the recent A significant increase in demand could have a stronger impact than many expected. Innovations that meet the evolving needs and preferences of students.
Distance learning has long been perceived to be of poor quality, but more than half of American adults surveyed in 2022 believe the quality of online instruction in higher education will be the same or better than in-person instruction. , up from 37 people. percent of the previous year. One survey found that 7 in 10 students plan to take at least some courses entirely online after the pandemic. The global market for online degrees and microcredentials is expected to grow to a $117 billion market by 2025.
Alongside this demand growth is the idea that a small number of domestic players will continue to dominate the market. The top 10 online-only institutions enroll him 20% of US online-only students and spend millions of dollars on marketing each year. This imbalance has caused many national systems and individual institutions to wonder how they can carve out a piece of the pie and how big of a pie they should try to cut.
Several public institutions and systems, including UMass Global, the University of Arizona Global Campus, and the University of Arkansas, Grantham, have recently acquired online providers to quickly scale and reach a wider audience. While certainly an option, growth by acquisition only works in some cases, given the finite number of viable acquisition targets and the extensive scrutiny and cultural ramifications that often accompany acquisition approaches.
A recent review of market success demonstrates that high-quality academic products are valued by leveraging limited institutional resources, enhancing strategic goals related to access and student success, supporting the goals of partner organizations It demonstrates an approach to online education that guarantees that
Observing the efforts of educational leaders to design approaches to online education that are relevant to their market in their unique context, each successful effort addressed strategic questions along three pillars: It’s clear that you’re trying to answer.
jointly develop a statement of purpose
- Is online education seen as a strategy for program expansion and new enrollment, or a more flexible option for current on-campus students, or both?
- How important do you see online education as a new or expanded revenue stream in the future?
- How important is it to ensure that the quality of online teaching methods and instruction is equal to or better than face-to-face instruction? Are we delivering on that aspiration today?
- How can you ensure the right balance between investing in resources to ensure quality student outcomes and increasing enrollment in new programs?
Examine the current market position
- What are the needs of existing and potential employer partners in nearby economic hubs, regional workforce initiatives, or other external partners? Can these needs be supported through online education?
- What is the current footprint of online offerings, and what are the student characteristics that draw them to those programs?
- Do any of our disciplines have brand recognition beyond the local or regional market?
- What other options do online seekers in this region have? Are there specific gaps in the market that align with our academic strengths?
Assess organizational strengths and gaps
- Is your current online education support organization decentralized, centralized within certain departments, or undervalued overall? Does your current organization fit our statement of purpose?
- Capabilities and potential gaps in current online education support organizations to support quality online education by promoting and delivering best practices in instructional design, program growth and innovation, marketing and recruitment, and program or course evaluation What is?
- What is the organization’s ability and willingness to seek third-party partnerships to accelerate growth in areas of limited capacity?
- How do faculty and staff view current online education support organizations, especially the resources available to ensure quality instructional design and delivery?
In answer to these questions, some institutions and systems have decided to invest in leveraging their national brands and pursuing significant online scale in the near term through inorganic growth such as mergers and acquisitions. may occur. Others are best positioned to offer more flexible course options to current students and focus on pursuing targeted growth of online programs to match the local labor market and student demand. You may notice that Support resources and faculty development units. Other solutions may emerge during this discovery process.
Considering these questions (and possibly others) can help educational institutions formulate an online education strategy that suits their unique situation and market position. and to take advantage of recent and projected future growth in student demand for high-quality online services and achieve parallel outcomes related to revenue diversification, alignment with market trends, and curriculum innovation. You can also