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New Global Online Education Report To Study Impact of Online Learning Worldwide

The Sloan Consortium is partnering with a group of higher education and inter-governmental organizations to launch a new research initiative focused on the global impact of online learning. The Global Online Education Report (GlobalOHER) will collect empirical data on the state of online learning worldwide.

The report will provide:

  • Information on enrollments and programs offered online;
  • Information on the role of MOOCs around the world;
  • Information on the adoption of Open Education Resources (OER);
  • Perspectives on the importance of online learning in institutional strategies;
  • The challenges institutions face in delivering high quality programs and services; and
  • A framework of the policy issues that institutions believe need to be addressed.

"Whether called open, distance, flexible, e-learning or online learning, more institutions are offering, or planning to offer, educational services using new delivery methods," said Kathleen Ives, acting chief executive officer and executive director of the Sloan Consortium, in a press release. "The GlobalOHER initiative is the first formal effort to define online learning in the global context, to document levels of participation, the importance of online learning in institutional strategies and the policy implications for online learning."

GlobalOHER partners currently include:

The initiative is also supported by many regional associations and stakeholders around the world, with more expected to participate. "A comprehensive study such as this can only be conducted through the combined efforts of multiple international partners," said Gard Titlestad, secretary general for ICDE, in a prepared statement. "We are fortunate to have an outstanding group of leading international organizations joining forces for this initiative."

The initial global survey of institutions will be conducted in 2014, with the GlobalOHER being issued semi-annually thereafter. The report will replicate the methodology, approach and report scope of the U.S. Higher Education reports produced by the Babson Survey Research Group for the last 10 years. "Taking this study global would not be possible without this alliance of world-class organizations," said I. Elaine Allen, co-director, Babson Survey Research Group and professor of biostatistics and epidemiology at UCSF. "We are delighted to be part of this important research effort."

About the Author

About the author: Rhea Kelly is executive editor for Campus Technology. She can be reached at

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