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78 Percent of Online Learning Administrators Vouch for Remote Learning: Study

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While students voice dissatisfaction with remote learning, administrators expressed a positive opinion about the “new normal college experience,” according to a new survey.

The 5th Changing Landscape of Online Education (CHLOE) report, published earlier this week, focused specifically on the turn to remote teaching. The survey includes responses from nearly 308 chief online officers at public, private for-profit, and non-profit establishments of higher education. 

While college professors are adjusting, students have displayed skepticism with remote learning. The survey reflected this, with 78 percent of online edu-officers vouching for a largely successful transition. The steps were considered “ somewhat difficult” for 44 percent of online edu-officers while 36 percent found it “very challenging.” 

Transition Through Training

Close to 70 percent of reporting institutions said they provided additional staff or financial resources to enable a smooth transition. To ensure courses could move online in the spring, support including laptops for students, new technology such as videoconferencing tools, common meet places, and faculty training were necessary. 

Though the pivot to remote has been successful, there are also plenty of improvements that can be made in terms of content quality, student engagement, online study resources, and LMS (Learning Management System), according to the survey.

With time the distinction between fully online and remote courses is “going to blur,” said Ron Legon, co-lead of the CHLOE project, to Inside Higher Ed. Adding that fall is likely to involve remote learning heavily, he also reported institution plans to develop and invest in remote programs. 

What’s Next for the Remote Shift

“As institutions plan for continued distance education,” said Legon, “online leaders have acknowledged the existing challenges and are optimistic about the future of online learning.” Close to 65 percent of the respondents predicted increased demand for online learning among undergraduates in the wake of the pandemic crisis

Traditional, classroom-based teaching methods will always have a place and are increasingly integrating with online learning which is set to be an important part of learning institutions across the globe. 

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