The Sloan Consortium and International Partners Launch First Research Initiative on the Global Impact of Online Learning

‘Global Online Higher Education Report’ will fill current void of empirical data on the state of online learning worldwide.


Newburyport, MA (PRWEB) February 24, 2014

A group of leading higher education and inter-governmental organizations have teamed up to develop and deliver the Global Online Higher Education Report (GlobalOHER), the first-ever research initiative focused on the global impact of online learning.

The global landscape of post-secondary education is in a period of dramatic change, with learning no longer confined to the campus classroom. Although there is clear evidence of the growth of online learning, the global data remains anecdotal or limited in scope. The GlobalOHER initiative is designed to address this deficiency. The report will provide: 

  • Information on enrollments and programs offered online
  • Information on the role of MOOCs around the world
  • Information on the adoption of Open Education Resources (OER)
  • Perspectives on the importance of online learning in institutional strategies
  • The challenges institutions face in delivering high quality programs and services
  • A framework of the policy issues that institutions believe need to be addressed

“Whether called open, distance, flexible, e-learning, or online learning, more institutions are offering, or planning to offer, educational services using new delivery methods,” said Kathleen Ives, acting chief executive officer and executive director, the Sloan Consortium. “The GlobalOHER initiative is the first formal effort to define online learning in the global context, to document levels of participation, the importance of online learning in institutional strategies and the policy implications for online learning.”

GlobalOHER partners currently include the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE); the Sloan Consortium (Sloan-C); UNESCOBabson Survey Research Group; the International Association of Universities (IAU); the European Commission, DG Education and Culture; and StudyPortals. In addition, many regional associations and stakeholders around the world have agreed to support the initiative, with more expected to participate.

“A comprehensive study such as this can only be conducted through the combined efforts of multiple international partners,” said Gard Titlestad, secretary general, ICDE. “We are fortunate to have an outstanding group of leading international organizations joining forces for this initiative.”

The initial global survey of institutions will be conducted in 2014, with the GlobalOHER being issued semi-annually thereafter. The report will replicate the methodology, approach and report scope of the U.S. Higher Education reports produced by the Babson Survey Research Group for the past 10 years.  

The U.S. Higher Education reports have become the benchmark for tracking distance education and the most quoted metrics on the growth in online enrolments in the United States.

“Taking this study global would not be possible without this alliance of world-class organizations,” said I. Elaine Allen, co-director, Babson Survey Research Group and Professor of Biostatistics & Epidemiology at UCSF. “We are delighted to be part of this important research effort.”

About Sloan-C 
The Sloan Consortium (Sloan-C) is the leading professional online learning society devoted to advancing quality e-Education learning into the mainstream of education through its community. Sloan-C is dedicated to providing access to high quality e-Education to individuals, institutions, professional societies and the corporate community.


Sloan-C Contact:
Jean Fredrick
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The Sloan Consortium

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