Annually published ” CHLOE (The Changing Landscape of Online Education) Report It is a big deal for us online learning geeks. We expect that this year’s joint publication of Eduventures Research and Quality Matters is like the way superhero lovers wait for Comic-Con.

This year’s report (for the sixth time) may be the most anticipated CHLOE ever.

COVID-19 is a terrible epidemic, but it is also a time machine.

In many aspects of higher education, COVID-19 has opened up a time rift, causing many of us (if only briefly) to land in 2030.

As always, I strongly recommend downloading, reading, tweeting and talking about the report. The release of CHLOE 6 represents an excellent opportunity to bring together senior leaders of your organization to discuss the future strategic role of online learning.

If you are worried that your deans, vice presidents, directors, and various provost types may not have time to fully absorb all the data and analysis of CH​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

(Note: This 69-page report does include an excellent 2-page executive summary).

Point 1: Higher education is more flexible than most people previously thought.

The fact that more than 4,000 higher education institutions in the United States can almost immediately switch from residential teaching to online teaching for approximately 20 million learners is truly shocking. Higher ed’s response to COVID has forever destroyed the popular notion that universities cannot be agile and fast.

Point 2: The pandemic will accelerate the growth of online learning.

80% of chief online officers (COOs) expect their schools to increase online enrollment in the next 3 to 5 years.

Point 3: For most schools, the local area is still where it is, even in online courses.

Colleges and universities seem to recognize that it is very difficult to compete with national online brands, but their local and regional demand for online options is great.

Point 4: Academic continuity of distance teaching and strategic online courses can complement each other.

As we all know, distance learning and traditional online learning are very different things. The former is an emergency response, the latter requires a lot of investment and a development timetable. CHLOE’s survey results indicate that online leaders believe that the need to move to universal distance learning will accelerate and deepen more long-term efforts to invest in fully online courses.

Point 5: Community colleges are leaders in online learning.

Community colleges may not be able to earn enough honor to lead innovation across the higher education sector. The CHLOE report found that the experience accumulated by community colleges in online education enables these institutions to switch to distance learning.

Point 6: Colleges and universities have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to accelerate the introduction of online courses.

Most chief online officers (72%) believe that the transition from ERL courses to fully online courses is “very likely” (15%) or “very likely” (57%) after the pandemic. Colleges and universities have an opportunity to accelerate new online courses for a generation, because now every professor has some experience in the development and teaching of digital media courses.

Point 7: Synchronous online teaching will continue to exist.

More than 80% of COO believe that at least some new or revised online courses will include synchronized online components. Synchronous online teaching has changed from a high-intensity/high-cost online education mark to something more standardized in all institutions.

Point 8: During the pandemic, nearly two-thirds of schools invested in online capabilities.

The chief operating officer surveyed for CHLOE reported that 63% of institutions have made “some” or “significant” investment in additional resources to support online learning during the pandemic. At least some of these investments will improve the school’s long-term ability to expand online services.

Point 9: Most of the technologies to support emergency distance learning were in place before the pandemic, but during the COVID period, there was a lot of investment in synchronized learning platforms.

Can you imagine whether the pandemic hit when most of us were in college? Today, the adoption of LMS is widespread. LMS has allowed the school to continue to develop, but the rapid launch (and investment) of the synchronized learning platform has allowed teachers and students to maintain a more comprehensive connection over the past 18 months.

Point 10: Open Educational Resources (OER) pandemic.

Compared with other technologies and platforms related to digital learning, open educational resources will have the largest increase in the percentage of net major investment in 2022 (7%). COVID-19 has brought new awareness of the inherent inequality created by high-priced publishers’ course materials and textbooks, and seems to have accelerated more institutional attention to OER.

Point 11: Online leaders are keenly aware that the pandemic has both revealed and exacerbated structural inequalities in higher education.

The CHLOE 6 report details the various ways schools have tried to bridge the digital divide by directing services and resources to disadvantaged learners. The extent to which schools are invested in distributing hardware and working to provide students with Internet access is not entirely clear-but this seems to be the main priority for many colleges and universities throughout the pandemic.

Many other key elements can be extracted from the 2022 CHLOE report. (I’m still working on the results of the survey on the impact of the pandemic on non-profit/profit partners and online project management OPM spaces).

I think the key is that the CHLOE report can be a catalyst and facilitator of an in-depth conversation about the strategic role of online education in your campus.

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