Understanding the Online College Student

Concurrent Session 7

Brief Abstract

Online education continues to grow at a greater rate than the rest of the higher education sector. Understanding how to build programs aimed at online college students starts with having the right data. Learn what 1,500 fully online students have to say about their online learning preferences and demands.

Presenters

Andrew J. Magda is the Manager of Market Research of The Learning House, Inc. He leads in the development of custom and large-scale market research studies and assists partner institutions with their research needs. Prior to Learning House, Andrew was a senior analyst at Eduventures and a project manager at the Center for Survey Research and Analysis at the University of Connecticut.

Extended Abstract

Online education continues to grow at a greater rate than the rest of the higher education sector, with some projecting that online college students will make up close to 25 percent of all higher education enrollments by 2020. Understanding how to build programs and courses aimed at online college students starts with having the right data.

 

In this presentation, Dr. David Clinefelter, Chief Academic Officer of The Learning House, Inc., will join Carol Aslanian, President & Founder of Aslanian Market Research, to share results from the fifth annual Online College Students report. Learn what 1,500 prospective, current and recently graduated fully online students have to say about their online learning preferences and demands.

 

Key audience takeaways from the presentation will include:

 

  • Diversification is key. Online students, like the rest of the higher education population, are not a monolith. Understanding different preferences and using a variety of strategies to reach them both in the classroom and through marketing is essential.
  • The bar has been raised. As online education has become commonplace, students now expect processes and policies tailored toward their needs. Policies that once were considered nice to have, such as generous transfer policies and streamlined admissions policies, are now necessities.
  • The local is global. Despite the touted benefits of learning anywhere, online learners tend to stay close to home, with 65 percent living within 100 miles of their online institution.
  • Blended institutions are gaining traction. Typically, learning has been divided into fully on campus or fully online. A significant number of online students, however, expressed interest in learning online but having on-campus opportunities, such as internships. This new model may be a good way to expand the online student population.
  • Age no longer predicts learning behavior in online higher education. While online education has traditionally been marketed toward adult learners, more and more students under 25 years of age are choosing to study online for their undergraduate degrees.