As the COVID-19 pandemic stretches on, the 2022 Online Education Trends Report found that more higher education institutions say they will continue to offer both remote and online courses in the future, while a majority of remote learner respondents said they are more likely to enroll in online or remote courses even after their campuses return to normal operations.

The report focused largely on four areas: the learning experience, marketing and recruitment, the continued impacts that COVID-19 has had, and student satisfaction. The survey received responses from 351 school administrators and 1,800 students.

The impact of COVID-19 has reared its head as administrators are planning for the future. According to the survey, 43 percent of school administrators said their schools would continue to offer online and remote courses in the future. That represents a 10 percent increase from the 33 percent who said they would in the 2021 Online Education Trends Report.

The change has also had an effect on the learning experience, with 60 percent of remote learning respondents – students who are enrolled in online courses due to the COVID-19 pandemic – saying they are more likely to enroll in an online course again, even after their campuses return to in-person learning.

The pandemic has also affected learners’ mental health, as 20 percent of remote learning respondents said they anticipate the changes they’ve made due to the COVID-19 pandemic will likely have lasting impacts on their mental health.

To help with that, a majority of academic institutions said their top priority for the upcoming year is to provide more student services with 87 percent saying they were looking to provide additional academic support and 86 percent saying they are looking to add more non-academic student support services.

As far as student satisfaction, 70 percent of student respondents said that online education is “better than or equal to” on-campus learning, which is a slight downtick from the 74 percent who responded the same way in 2021. However, 95 percent of online program graduates – who went to a fully-online program – said they would recommend online education to others.

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