The 2010 Student Readiness Report Identifies Trends Among Online Learners

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Online learning is a growing trend. Research shows online enrollments are increasing at almost 20% per year. Do all students have the skill set it takes to be successful in online learning? Learn more from the 2010 Student Readiness Report draws data from over 200,000 students from 271 colleges and universities.

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Online enrollments are growing at almost 20% per year. Do all students have the skill set it takes to be successful in online courses?

Distance learning continues to grow at an incredible rate. As more students begin to learn online, it becomes obvious that distance learning is a better fit for some students than others. Individuals considering distance learning desire to know if studying online will be a good choice for them. Schools which invest heavily in attracting new online students want to retain the students across their degree program. Both schools and students benefit when a student’s level of readiness for learning online is measured.

From July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010 a total of 209,025 students from 271 colleges and universities took the SmarterMeasure learning readiness indicator. Data from each of these students was analyzed in aggregate, and the findings are now being reported in the 2010 Student Readiness Report (SRR). Among these students 72% were female, only 28% were of traditional age (18-22 years old), 28% had “social” as their dominant learning style, 33% exhibited between 70%-79% of mastery in technical knowledge, and 45% scored 100% on technical competency skills. Statistically significant differences were found among the demographic factors of gender, ethnicity, age, institution type, and the number of prior online courses taken. For example, females were found to have statistically significant higher means on the constructs of individual attributes and typing accuracy. Males were found to have statistically significant higher means on the constructs of reading rate and technical knowledge.

The SRR will be presented publicly at the upcoming Sloan-C conference in Orlando, FL. According to Sloan-C over 4.6 million students were taking at least one online course during the fall 2008 term – a 17 percent increase over the number reported the previous year. This 17% growth rate for online enrollments far exceeds the 1.2% growth of the overall higher education student population. When asked about how the SRR data could help with the growth of the online student population, Dr. Mac Adkins, President of SmarterServices said, “The Student Readiness Report is of substantial interest to distance learning leaders as they plan to continue to scale and improve their programs. For example, the aggregate data included in the report is useful to instructional designers as they craft their courses to be intuitive for learners of various learning styles and technical abilities, while the information about learners’ life factors and their abilities is useful to student services personnel”.

To download a free copy of the report go to http://www.smartermeasure.com/documents/2010_Online_Student_Readiness_Report.pdf. SmarterMeasure is a web-based, diagnostic tool that measures students’ strengths and opportunities for improvement in six areas related to online learning and technology rich courses. Those include life factors, learning styles, individual attributes (such as procrastination, motivation, etc), technical competency & knowledge, typing speed & accuracy, and on-screen reading rate & recall. Serving over 300 institutions, SmarterMeasure is the premier readiness tool delivered in a custom user interface, complete with an administrative panel that includes access to student data, data export, communication tools, and custom features.

SmarterServices LLC provides research-based, data-driven services that empower schools and organizations to make smarter decisions.

For more information/interview contact: Dr. Mac Adkins 334 543 4026 or visit http://www.SmarterServices.com.

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Julie Owen
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