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Research Agenda: Online and Continuing Education

Our Online & Continuing Education practice provides forward-thinking research and advising for online education leaders to drive change and improve performance. This research agenda offers insights into the topics we will be covering for the first half of 2016 and will be updated on a rolling basis throughout the year. We will also deliver our research in new formats. Look for the following research deliverables and topics as part of your membership in the Eduventures Advisory Service for Higher Education Leaders:

 

RESEARCH DELIVERABLES

 

EDUVENTURES
WAKE-UP CALL
EDUVENTURES
TECH-ALERT
EDUVENTURES INSIGHTS TECHNOLOGY DEEP DIVE TOP TRAITS OF HIGHER EDUCATION LEADERS
Weekly analysis of pressing topics that matter to today’s higher education leaders in a succinct and digestible format. Focused analyses of the higher education technology market including trends to watch, new product announcements, and other notable events. These monthly issue-based reports are based on our proprietary surveys and primary research, interviews with industry leaders, and client interactions. Assessments of technology segments designed to deepen your understanding of technology trends through data-driven reports, vendor evaluations, and market projections. Research that identifies and benchmarks the people, programs, or initiatives that are leading the way and creating competitive advantage for colleges.

 

UPCOMING RESEARCH

 

TOP FINDINGS FROM EDUVENTURES 2015 ADULT LEARNER PREFERENCES SURVEY
What do adults learners need and want from higher education? What is the profile of today’s adult learners? What do adult learners think about higher education and delivery models like MOOCs, competency-based education, and open learning? Our biannual national survey of prospective adult learners will answer these and other questions. We will analyze key findings from this year’s survey and present longitudinal analysis from our 2013 data.

ALTERNATIVE CREDENTIAL STRATEGIES & MARKET OPPORTUNITIES
This report will take a closer look at adult learner preferences and provide insight into specific administrative and academic program opportunities. In particular, it will explore alternative credential models and marketing strategies informed by results from Eduventures’ 2016 Adult Learner Survey.

UNDERSTANDING POST-TRADITIONAL BUYER PERSONAE
In their college searches, post-traditional students imagine their future as they choose which colleges to apply to and attend. This report will examine students’ underlying desires for the outcomes of their college education, including their programs of interest and their preferences for learning mode, price point, and schedule. It will offer insight into their decision criteria and identify natural market segments. Finally, it will provide the tools you need to go beyond simple subgroup segmentation to give you a sufficiently complex understanding of a complex market.

DEVELOPING A COMPETENCY-BASED EDUCATION MODEL: A ROAD MAP FOR INSTITUTIONAL CHANGE
As part of a three-year study on the competency-based education (CBE) landscape, Eduventures has created a maturity model index for CBE course or program providers. This report will describe the first iteration of this maturity model, discuss early survey results, and outline next steps for further research and engagement. Participating institutions will receive a personalized score based upon their feedback, including how they rank against other adopters and specific recommendations on how to improve their standing based on overall study results and analysis.

PROGRAM FEASIBILITY: USING EMPLOYER HIRING PREFERENCES TO ASSESS NON-DEGREE CERTIFICATION PROGRAMS
As higher education institutions respond to the growing demand for non-degree, industry-driven certifications, there’s a growing need to efficiently combine employer preference data with specific segments of the market to accurately assess new program feasibility. This report will showcase Eduventures’ new program feasibility model for non-credit, non-degree programs.

 

2016 Q1 & Q2 TOPICS

Q1 & Q2

TOP 10 OCE DATA POINTS FROM 2015
From sizing the adult learner market to mapping the competency-based education landscape and evaluating online program management companies, Eduventures produced a number of critical insights in 2015. This presentation-ready slide deck provides a selection of key findings from the past year. While you no doubt relied upon many of these insights, others may have gone unnoticed. Download these slides to use in board presentations, to inform strategic plans, or to make sure you did not miss this year’s greatest hits.

OPEN EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES: PROPELLING THE MOVEMENT FORWARD
Open digital textbooks, Wikipedia, Khan Academy, and MOOCs are just some examples of open education resources (OER). The term refers to more than the market of free instructional tools, products, and solutions; it encompasses a movement that is sweeping across higher education. While the momentum behind OER has never been stronger, too few academic leaders can confidently describe OER or know how to use them. Eduventures will present a top-level overview of early adopters and key steps to get started. This study will cover the processes for selecting OER, using them, and developing them to support teaching and learning.

ONLINE RETENTION TOP TRAITS
Forward-thinking institutions have demonstrated the capacity and capability to leverage a multitude of retention solutions to support their needs throughout the student lifecycle. In this third report in our series on retention solutions, we will present case studies of several of these institutions and highlight persisting challenges to horizontal integration that they have addressed.

 

2015 RESEARCH TOPICS

Q1 & Q2

KEEPING PACE WITH COMPETENCY-BASED EDUCATION
Competency-based education is on the rise. Higher education leaders need to understand the key terms, trends, and changes in the policy landscape in order to make sense of the groundswell of new tools and technologies designed to support competencybased approaches to teaching and learning. We will provide analysis of this rising movement, including insight into how colleges and universities approach this practice, seize its benefits, and navigate its challenges. We will also focus in on technology vendors active in this space, to provide colleges that are either engaged in competency-based education or new to the practice with analysis and advice for making important technology decisions.

MEET TODAY’S ADULT LEARNER
Tapping into the adult learner market is a viable growth strategy, especially since this market is once again growing steadily. To help fine tune your adult enrollment strategy, this report provides insight from recent Eduventures analysis of the national adult learner market. It includes an adult market segmentation based on aspirations for enrollment and four recommendations to help frame your strategy and improve your outreach efforts.

DEVELOPING COLLABORATIVE PARTNERSHIPS WITH ONLINE PROGRAM MANAGERS
As the landscape of Online Program Managers (OPMs) matures, colleges and universities will continue to seek more flexible, adaptable, and collaborative partnerships to support their online and hybrid programs. Our analysis will provide a roadmap to facilitate a more productive partnership between colleges and providers, including the value chain of services offered, the differentiators and benefits of working with select providers, and the key factors for successful implementation.

TOP TRAITS OF LEADING ONLINE PROGRAMS
In Q1, we will be kicking off our study of leading online programs. Does your organization have innovative traits? Tell us about them!

 

Q3 & Q4

MAPPING THE RETENTION SOLUTIONS MAP
As enrollments level off for many online programs that have experienced historical growth, retention is increasingly important. To navigate the myriad retention solutions that can support your institution, Eduventures will map out and define potential offerings and provide profiles of select retention providers across the student lifecycle, from pre-inquiry through matriculation to graduation and beyond. This coverage will provide recommendations of point solutions that may fill specific retention product and service gaps and insight into how to integrate retention solutions horizontally across your institution.

COMPETENCY-BASED EDUCATION AND THE EVOLVING ENTERPRISE LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEM LANDSCAPE
With hundreds of institutions offering competency-based education (CBE) programs, and many more with programs currently in development, a shift is occurring in the enterprise learning management system (LMS) market. Many longstanding LMS providers are adapting their products to better support the unique design parameters of CBE, while a wave of new providers are bringing net generation systems to market. These systems are more readily aligned with, and in some cases, native, to this program format. Coverage of this topic offers insight to help support awareness of this evolving market, and to help support critical decisions involved in the technology selection process.

TOP TRAITS OF ONLINE EDUCATION PROVIDERS
The success of online higher education to date has been fueled by one simple objective: to offer a flexible format and provide access to academic programs for new generations of post-traditional learners. The value proposition of online learning, however, is shifting. Success in today’s online market rests on an institution’s ability to tackle much tougher objectives related to the quality of the online student experience, the cost of learning online, and course and program outcomes. This report showcases select institutions that are successfully addressing these objectives through efforts such as open learning, competency-based education (CBE), adaptive learning, and strategic partnerships.

UNDERSTANDING THE MARKET FOR NON-CREDIT EDUCATION
The rapid growth of educational technology offers new possibilities for expansion into open online learning, workforce development, and alternative credentials. Eduventures’ comprehensive review of the non-credit market includes insight into its expansion, size and scope, and demand drivers. Our research also features insights into the rise of digital badges and micro-credentials as compelling alternatives to conventional programming, and profiles of leading institutional providers currently expanding their online program portfolios to include more non-credit offerings.

 

 

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