As the higher education landscape undergoes rapid transformation, educators continue to seek best practices for creating quality digital, blended, and online learning experiences. However, disparate definitions of quality and differing instructor and student preferences complicate this work. This report addresses the pressing need to bridge the gap between student and faculty expectations, highlighting the critical role of student voices in defining quality education.

In seeking to better understand student perspectives on quality online, digital, and blended learning experiences, we analyzed data from four student panels at recent OLC conferences and developed a framework based on insights students shared. 

More specifically, we sought to answer two key questions:

  1. What does quality digital learning look like from a student perspective? 
  2. How do students think quality digital learning can best center DEI principles?

The resulting report features seven essential elements of quality learning for students, driven by principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI): 

  • Getting beyond face-to-face replication
  • Taking collaborative action on DEI
  • Keeping humans and connection at the center of learning
  • Designing intentionally and deeply 
  • Structuring learning experiences for success
  • Supporting instructional development
  • Nurturing a culture of belonging

Readers of the report will access actionable strategies tailored for leaders, instructors, and support staff to enhance digital, blended, and online learning experiences. Our recommendations can empower your institution with student-centered insights and pave the way for transformative educational experiences.


7 Essential Elements of Quality Digital Learning