The Rise of Online Education (By the Numbers)

2020’s pandemic certainly changed a lot of things for good.

The way we take care of ourselves, the way our governments organize and implement widespread contingencies… even the way we do business both on and offline will never be the same.

But out of all the changed aspects of the human experience, education certainly seems one the most transformed. Now, most people understand it’s possible (and even easy!) to effectively learn new things without leaving home, and industries across the board are responding accordingly.

Long-established education institutions, as well as online learning sites, are stepping up their game, and even video production companies and big corporations have risen to meet this growing appetite for educational content and tools.

But what does that mean for you, as a person, parent, consumer, or teacher?

Well, to give you a better understanding of this growing sector – and the benefits you can reap from it – we’ll break it down over five interesting stats relating to online education and discuss their significance and impact.

Let’s get to it, shall we?

Online Education Improves Retention Rates

One of the biggest challenges traditional education has always faced is how to structure content in a way that ensures students can remember it later. And the sudden switch to e-learning we experienced in 2020 made it an even bigger concern.

Would students actually learn as much from online lectures?

Well, surveys have found that not only are online students learning as much, but they can retain 25% to 60% more information when learning online, compared to 8% to 10% in the classroom.

The reasons behind these numbers are rather simple, though. Online education gives students greater control over their learning process. They take the different courses at their own pace, but they can also do it somewhere they feel comfortable, with no external distractions.

Moreover, asynchronous lectures and tutoring through educational videos are particularly useful in this regard, as the student can pause the video to take down notes and even go back and watch it again for revision.

In short, remote education fosters retention because it allows students to dictate when, where, and how they learn. A fact that’s even impacting the way we do marketing.

Online Education Makes Learning More Engaging

Catching students’ attention and keeping them engaged during the learning process has always been a challenge. Moreover, teaching through traditional textbooks and chalkboards seems to become more ineffective every year.

In fact, 45% of elementary school students have said that their favorite learning methods are watching online videos and playing digital learning games.

To understand why students prefer educational video content and games, we must look at the science behind the learning process. The human brain responds to and processes visuals better than written text, making it easier to remember information given in a visual medium.

Animations can also simplify complex or abstract concepts that would otherwise be hard to explain in a lecture or book and even harder to picture and understand from reading. Moreover, with the power of contextualization and illustration, videos can transform theory into visuals and clarify concepts.

Why is this information important? Acknowledging these tools’ potential can help teachers, caregivers, and even companies build an effective teaching strategy, especially in the context of remote learning.

A good strategy helps students and users connect the knowledge imparted and its practical implementation in a real situation. It also has to provide a good experience for them and not be some overly complicated challenge that takes them hours to solve and leaves them frustrated afterward.

All things considered, learning through educational video content and games makes learning more engaging because it allows students to grasp and reinforce concepts in ways textbooks never could.

Corporate Online Education Can Increase Revenues

You might be surprised to know that it’s not just schools that have adopted remote learning solutions⁠—corporations have switched to online platforms to train their employees and help them stay current with the latest developments in their niche.

This has been greatly beneficial for company revenue, with an average of 42% of companies who use remote learning reporting that they generate more income thanks to it.

The main reason behind this is that employees that know how to work with the latest technologies can help their companies adapt quicker to a swiftly changing market landscape, giving them a competitive edge.

What’s more, there’s a huge reduction in training costs since there’s no commuting, no venue, and no use of the company’s facilities. Employees can learn from their desks or their own homes without wasting time traveling to a training site.

You might be thinking that online training alone might not be enough for certain industries, and you’d be correct. Healthcare workers, for example, need hands-on experience, in which case a blended approach that combines traditional learning with remote learning would be ideal.

All in all, training employees through distance learning can be a great way to cut down some expenses and increase revenues by helping them keep up with the latest technological developments in their specific market.

The Future of Online Education

What do the numbers say about the future of remote learning? Well, in 2021, 75% of schools have plans to operate completely online. This means that these institutions have seen the potential the virtual world offers, and now they seek to harness it.

The internet is full of information and offers access to diverse material and other interesting formats such as forums and discussion boards that educators can incorporate into their lessons to make them more dynamic and engaging.

What’s more, this virtual setting is particularly attractive for older students who have to balance work and studies. Since they don’t have to set foot on a physical university campus and can take the courses whenever they want, they don’t have to give anything up to get a degree or diploma.

For this reason, a growing number of higher education institutions are now offering online versions of their programs so that students of all levels can sharpen or learn new skills in a wide variety of subjects.

Summing it up, remote learning seems to have a promising future, with more schools and universities offering virtual alternatives so that all kinds of students can learn something new.

Online Education Still Needs Improving

Regardless of the huge growth online learning has seen recently, there are still some barriers to overcome in remote learning.

Most people are already aware that not having adequate space for a proper learning or teaching experience or a reliable internet connection are two of the most recurrent issues both students and teachers face in distance learning.

You might not know that insufficient training is actually the most common reason educators decide not to use digital learning tools. 56% of teachers surveyed in the United States stated that this was a significant or extremely significant issue.

That shouldn’t come as a surprise, really, since teachers have lacked training in technology tools for ages!

So, what to do when students learn better with such tools, but teachers can’t harness them for lack of knowledge? Offer training, of course!

It’s essential that educators feel comfortable teaching with online technologies. They have the most significant impact on student learning, and if they feel confident teaching remotely, they can transfer that confidence to their students.

They can’t do so without ongoing support and resources, which their institutions and the whole education industry must provide.

To put it simply, an educator can’t teach what they don’t know, and it’s up to them and their higher-ups to ensure they’re up to date on the latest online tools.

Wrapping Up

Online education has risen and blown up over the last few years, especially due to the unique circumstances the world is currently facing.

It’s not expected to slow down anytime soon, and hopefully, the stats we’ve presented in this article can give you some useful insights on the state of distance learning and what the future holds for it.