What the OLC’s 2016 Statistics Mean for the Future

by Debbie Williams


Online learning statistics aren’t merely dry facts; they are gusts of wind that blow companies in one direction or another. Statistics help businesses discover whether or not what they are doing is working. They also help them see what they can do better. At TOPYX, we appreciate the organizations doing hard work to deliver accurate, timely statistics. One such organization is the Online Learning Consortium.

The Online Learning Consortium has produced numerous excellent resources and infographics in the past. But, today we are most grateful for the OLC’s 2016 Higher Education Online Learning Landscape. Although this report centers on the education sector, it has great relevance in the corporate world. This online learning imperative has helped us better understand the future of both online learning and our learning management system (LMS) company, TOPYX.

<img alt="Online Learning Consortium" src="https://topyx.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/olc.jpg"/>

A Summary of the Online Learning Consortium’s 2016 Statistics

The OLC’s 2016 online learning statistics confirm what social learning specialists have known for years: that the online learning industry is destined for greatness. The 2016 Higher Education Online Learning Landscape revealed that online learning

-- Has increased 263% over the past 12 years.

-- Is more affordable than traditional, classroom-style learning. It enables students that otherwise would be unable to pursue further study to get the educations they desire.

-- Is preferred by learners. In fact, 84% of learners think online learning technology helps instructors teach more effectively. They also feel it increases learner engagement by up to 77%.

-- Is relied upon by higher education institutions. The OLC report says, “77% of institutions offering online learning say it's crucial to their long-term strategy. 71% of academic leaders rate online learning outcomes the same or superior to face-to-face (learning). 60% of the schools with the largest distance enrollments report faculty acceptance.”

Online learning has become a staple in the arena of higher education. Regardless of this, it’s interesting to note that teachers and administrators are not confident in their knowledge of online learning technology. OLC 2016 statistics tell us that “85% (of faculty) have very little experience with digital learning materials and open educational resources. Yet 71% (of faculty) would adopt digital materials if they are of high quality and improve affordability for their students.”

See the full 2016 Higher Education Online Learning Landscape here.  

These statistics are highly valuable to the education sector. However, we believe they are equally important to the corporate world. Why? Because they disclose the attitudes learners have toward online learning. Also, they open our eyes to how administrators feel about leveraging online learning in the classroom, be it online or physical.

What the OLC’s 2016 Statistics Mean for the Future of Online Learning

Boiled down, the OLC’s 2016 statistics show us two valuable things:

  • Learners prefer online learning.
  • Instructors largely are  uneducated about how to use online learning technology.

This tells us that the future of online learning is incredibly bright and that eLearning’s survival is inevitable. However, LMS technology must keep up with the increasing demands of learners. Additionally, it is absolutely crucial that instructors are trained in the usage of online learning technology.

How Will 2016’s eLearning Statistics Influence TOPYX?

The OLC’s online learning statistics mean that the future of online learning is packed with opportunity. At TOPYX, we intend to seize every opportunity we are given. We plan on doing this by continuing to add features to our full-featured, award-winning social learning management system. Employees/corporate learners can’t get enough online learning. In order to deliver what these learners need, our products must be top-of-the-line. That’s why we are tireless in our pursuit of creating and delivering the highest quality LMS on the market.

The 2016 online learning statistics compiled by the Online Learning Consortium have additional ramifications for what the future holds for our company. For example, our eLearning platform is user fee-free. In other words, we charge one low, flat rate for our LMS. Our hope is that every company wanting to launch an LMS has the chance to do so. For that reason, TOPYX will continue to be cost-effective. Also, we will ensure clients feel fully supported and are trained in how to use the platform. The OLC’s statistical report revealed that 85% of administrators have “very little experience” with online learning. We recognize that this is also the case in a number of workplaces. To combat this, we have and will continue to develop our client service feature. (Our client service team specializes in training people to manage TOPYX with ease.)

What do the Online Learning Consortium’s 2016 statistics mean for the future? First, they indicate that eLearning’s future is exciting and likely very demanding. Second, they suggest TOPYX’s future is as secure as its products are outstanding.

Debbie Williams

Debbie Williams

Director, Marketing