Is online education an entirely different product than traditional higher education?

Is online education an entirely different product than traditional higher education?

Reported by EdSurge, many of us think of online education as simply a difference in modality, and therefore the question becomes how do we deliver the same experience through a different channel. But we really need to understand how absolutely different the average audience is of both products.

A full 80% of online students work full-time or part-time, in comparison to 25% of residential students. Online students are much more likely to be first-generation students. And online faculty tend to much more likely be adjuncts.

This is a different audience, taught by different faculty. And probably, if we’re being honest, it’s a different product. So perhaps we needn’t fight so hard against the idea that they’re different, while still fighting deeply to make sure the experiences themselves are of equal academic quality.

May you continue to fight the good enrollment growth fight at your institution today, and we’ll see you again tomorrow.

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Eric Olsen

Eric brings more than a decade of award-winning creative brand development, marketing analytics and higher education experience to Helix Education. Eric is a graduate of Bradley University and earned his MBA at Lewis University.