I’ve compiled this collection of reports and tools as a reference timeline of online education’s evolution. All parties involved -students, providers, stakeholders- will find this toolkit handy to understand the evolving landscape of e-Learning and make smart decisions in their particular processes.
Use this page as a quick reference tool. For more detailed information on online education’s key areas, I recommend these readings.
2017 Online Education Trends Report
This report provides curated information regarding online students’ goals, characteristics and preferences, as well as insights into paradigms and innovations in the creation of online courses.
In addition, this paper presents a survey to more than 300 institution stakeholders and 1,500 scholars delivering comprehensive data about their experiences in online learning. These insights can help providers with key challenges like designing and managing state-of-the-art online programs.
2016 State of the MOOC : A Year of Massive Landscape Change For Massive Open Online Courses
This document focuses on the Massive Open Online Courses (MOCC) paradigm. Using a mix of sources and proprietary insight, this research analyzes the exponential increase of MOOCs in online learning platforms like edX, FutureLearn, Coursera and Udacity. Another key factor you get to understand is the unequal distribution of MOOCs amongst America’s institutions – main reason of this being the high cost of developing MOOCs, unfeasible for the non-elite organizations.
Though, the report wraps up with optimism towards new enhancements in MOOC business models and projected wider adoption, estimating that MOOCs may well turn out to be mainstream and affordable for both providers and students.
2015 Grade Increase: Tracking Distance Education in the United States
This survey led by the Babson Survey Research Group with support of StudyPortals, WCET, Tyton Partners, the Online Learning Consortium (OLC) and Pearson, is arguably the leading barometer of online learning in the United States. The report reveals key trends up to 2015, like the increase in the number of distance education students, the proportion of academic administrators that say online learning is critical, and the percent of educational thought leaders rating the learning results in online learning as equivalent or superior to those in traditional instruction.
2014 Grade Level Tracking Distance Education in the United States
This is the twelfth annual report on the state of online learning in U.S. higher education, by the Babson Survey Research Group and partners. Using a survey to 2,800 institutions, this research addresses fundamental aspects about the scope of online education. Some of the researched components include: the relation between Online Learning and MOOCs; who offers online courses; number of students learning online; comparison between learning outcomes in online environments and face-to-face; faculty acceptance of online education; and retention of students in online courses.
2013 Educational Benefits of Online Learning
This revealing paper, published some years ago, provides interesting notions on how online education was interpreted as a complement in the beginnings. Fast forwarding to today, where e-Learning is no more a mere complement but a mainstream education paradigm, this report gives us a good reference point to compare in a before/after fashion.
Some of the topics covered include: how “web based learning environments” provide a space not only to learn but also for exchange; alternative formats of information; methods for evaluation and assessment of the student’s progress; reducing administrative workload on the provider’s side.
MORE TOOLS FOR YOUR TOOLKIT
For those who like stats and condensed information – like myself, the following additional resources are great to dig deeper into more than 10 years of research on online education.
- Digest of Education Statistics by National Center for
Education Statistics (NCES).
- Twenty Years of Research on the Academic Performance Differences
Between Traditional and Distance Learning: Summative Meta-Analysis
and Trend Examination, by M. Sachar, Y. Neumann, published on the MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching.