Study shows online learning crucial to strategic planning in higher education

Public post-secondary institutions across Alberta and British Columbia are making online learning a crucial piece of their long-term strategies, according to a new baseline survey. The results also suggest that colleges, institutes and universities are committed to building quality into all online learning experiences. Managing that process continues to be a challenge.

BCcampus and eCampusAlberta administered the 2012 Alberta-British Columbia Managing Online Learning Survey. Eighteen institutions responded, and all indicate online learning figures prominently in their long-term strategies.

Key findings of the survey are:

  • Online learning is a key direction of all respondent institutions.
  • Improving student opportunities and outcomes is what motivates growth in online.
  • Managing growth is complicated by several factors, including varying levels of faculty engagement, the need for more robust policy development, the scope and character of supporting resources, and the roles played by academic units.
  • Online education is growing and will continue to grow at a significant rate for the foreseeable future.

Subsequent studies will benefit from the useful benchmark data provided by this year’s Alberta-B.C. survey. Also, it provides comparable data vis-à-vis American surveys.

A concise report of the survey is posted on our Reports section, and we invite comments and questions below. How does your institution manage online teaching and learning? What are the biggest challenges and opportunities you are facing?

Update December 13: This concise report is a summary: a more comprehensive look at the findings to come soon – stay tuned.

Posted by Tori Klassen