Satisfaction with digital education

I came across this survey from Gallup on student satisfaction with digital higher education. The findings make interesting reading from a number of perspectives. While the value-for-money and breadth of curriculum of online learning is clearly acknowledged as key strengths by students. More important are the perceived weaknesses in terms of the quality of teaching, rigour of assessment and credibility with employers.

Also worth noting is that while both four-year degree universities and community colleges are seen to provide good or excellent education:

Americans’ overall assessment of Internet-based college programs is tepid at best. One-third of Americans, 34%, rate such online programs as “excellent” or “good.” The majority calls them “only fair” or “poor.” In contrast, two-thirds of Americans (68%) rate four-year colleges and universities as excellent or good, and nearly as many (64%) rate community colleges this highly.

Also interesting in terms of MOOCs and badging of skills and learning was the finding that…:

half of Americans currently believe that obtaining the knowledge and skills needed to perform a specific job are more important for young people today than earning a college degree from a well-respected university. This broadly suggests that online programs offering more targeted curriculum — distinct from a traditional bachelor’s degree — or even certification in specific skills, could ultimately transform how students approach postsecondary education.

The survey indicates that from a market perspective, online learning has a way to go to have the authority to disrupt higher education but perhaps has more potential for professional learning and development.

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