In recent years, there has been a sharp increase in the availability of online courses and learners opting for them. What was once an avenue to provide greater access to education, has now become the one stop shop for continuous learners to re-skill themselves in order to stay relevant in their respective fields. It is critical to ensure that courses are aligned to the students’ needs to help reduce dropouts, increase student employability and engagement.
At Connect2Teach, we undertook a survey to understand the expectations of e-learners. The survey explored the forms of industry engagement e-learners prefer, the importance of industry relevance in their curriculum, and who they would want as a teacher for their course. Our survey participants were over the age of 22 and comprised of 46% males and 45% females. The respondents were from eight geographies, including the United Kingdom, India, and the United States of America.
73% of the respondents had taken an online course, of which 41.9% completed their course, 40.5% dropped out and 17.6% were currently enrolled in ongoing courses. We investigated their motivations to enroll in these online courses, the process of selecting a course, their satisfaction with the courses and finally, their reasons for dropping out. 26.9% of the respondents had never taken an online course. This survey further investigated what would have made them enroll in an online course.
Our survey showcased a preference for short courses, especially for those with certification, as well as an overwhelming majority opting for self-paced courses due to their flexibility. Paid and skill-oriented courses were also popular, indicating that e-learners view online learning as a serious investment that could allow them to advance in their career.
Despite that belief, the high dropout rate showcases that there are certain requirements that the students have that are not being met. We asked the students who they would like to have as their teacher for an online course and 83.8% of the survey respondents said that their idea teacher should have some kind of industry experience. Of the people who had never taken an online course, 57.1% reported that interaction with industry experts would have convinced them to enroll.
However, when asked about the involvement of industry experts in their course, students reported very low interaction with them. A major difference is seen when it comes to Live Webinars, where 64.4% of people wanted it in their course, but only 14.7% of people reported having access to them. There is a clear gap between what students want and what courses deliver.
Online education has a very important role to play in today’s society as it allows professionals to easily upskill themselves. By including industry experts as active stakeholders in this process, online course providers can ensure that the content in their courses is industry relevant and engaging for their students, hence reducing dropout rates.
You can find important learnings & highlights of our research in this article, https://connect2teach.com/blog/making-online-education-more-relevant-survey-2019/.
At Connect2Teach, we want to become the backbone of learning organizations by building the world’s largest, most credible and diverse knowledge network. Through Connect2Teach we want to expand the boundaries of who we consider to be a teacher. We want to make sure that the world’s brightest and most motivated minds are working together to educate future generations. The experts and institutions working with us see Connect2Teach as a movement to not only make teaching the #1 career choice globally but also to democratize access to the best experts to teach. By connecting motivated experts and institutions that care about delivering better learning outcomes, we drive work readiness, increased learner satisfaction and greater innovation in the world.