Analyst Distance and Online Learning News

Assessing the State of Online Learning: Diving into the CHLOE Surveys

The EvoLLLution
The web schooling market has been maturing for many years. Leaders can place themselves for progress and improvement by higher understanding the consistencies and realities of the area.

Introduction: Background and Scope of CHLOE

In 2016, Quality Matters, the leading quality assurance organization for online learning, agreed to hitch forces with Eduventures Research, a number one larger schooling research and advisory company. We shared the assumption that on-line studying was turning into a elementary element of upper schooling in the U.S.

Collectively, we shaped the Changing Landscape of On-line Schooling (CHLOE) surveys. The plan was to track forces to track online studying because it entered the mainstream, with a specific give attention to progress, management, financing, pedagogy, know-how, high quality assurance, market differentiation and the aggressive setting.

Much of the press on on-line learning focuses on revolutionary and paradigm-challenging initiatives. In distinction, CHLOE focuses on conduct within the mainstream. CHLOE uses “mainstream” to suggest that on-line learning is not an ad hoc or provisional experiment at a university or college. As an alternative, CHLOE views online studying as a budgeted and planned activity on an ongoing foundation, typically specifically addressed in the institution’s mission or strategic plan. One facet of mainstreaming is the emergence of dedicated online officers at mainstream establishments. CHLOE refers to them as Chief On-line Officers (COOs), although their actual titles range extensively. The presence of a COO is each a sign of mainstreaming and a chance to review associated tendencies via the attitude of the person more likely to have the most effective grasp of the large image.

CHLOE knowledge describe the duties typical of the COO. Greater than 90% of COOs report involvement in on-line school coaching, educational design, course improvement, quality assurance, policy setting, strategic planning and coordination amongst educational models. Greater than 75% are also involved in budgeting, LMS help, orientation of on-line students, managing on-line help providers, regulatory compliance, accessibility points, knowledge gathering and representing the web initiative externally. Their vary and depth of involvement in on-line studying points make COOs the only most reliable source of data on practices at mainstream institutions.

The newest of the three CHLOE surveys gathered responses from 280 COOs spanning all sectors of upper schooling.[i]We hope this number will continue to grow within the fourth survey and beyond, permitting higher statistical reliability and nuanced differentiation amongst approaches to delivering on-line schooling. Yet much has already been established within the first three surveys.

This text will summarize key CHLOE findings on a variety of issues and tendencies of curiosity to the readers of The EvoLLLution.

On-line Management

Naturally, in conducting CHLOE surveys, we now have discovered a terrific deal about COOs themselves. As well as, pioneering studies by Dr. Eric Fredericksen, who joined the CHLOE undertaking as a contributing editor this yr, hint the numerous background of COOs in some detail.[ii] In what might characterize a serious shift, the good majority of COOs now report by way of educational affairs at their establishments, somewhat than by means of IT or continuing schooling, the place many initiatives had their begin. While a number of establishments in our sample created such positions more than 20 years ago, more than a 3rd of collaborating establishments established COOs only up to now decade. We might be interested to see whether this progress development continues and results in the further professionalization of this new senior administration position.


CHLOE additionally appears intently on the online course—the essential building block of online learning—from numerous perspectives. Our knowledge present that the absolutely online course predominates over the blended course across all sectors. Some establishments report a small number of face-to-face or synchronous periods or experiences, but 84% point out that their on-line programs are completely or mainly asynchronous. It is unsurprising that the determine rises to 92% for giant on-line enrollment packages that recruit college students nationally.

While there’s appreciable variation within the stability of interactive experiences offered students on the individual course degree, combination knowledge inside and between institutions paint a strikingly constant picture of the prevailing construction of on-line pedagogy. On average, slightly more than half of interplay is between students and content, the remainder is split equally between student-to-instructor and student-to-student interplay, with just 2-Three% student-to-staff. Extra stability among forms of scholar engagement appears immediately related to institutional course design practices. When establishments do not provide any educational design help for online courses, school report the very best proportion of student-to-content. Establishments that require educational design enter or depend on course design teams see higher scholar engagement with school and other students.

Do Educational Designers Make a Difference?

CHLOE findings present that educational designers make a big difference in the effectiveness of online learning. COOs from establishments that require educational design enter to course design additionally report higher on-line scholar performance in comparison with on-ground students, and more constant use of the LMS and online tools throughout the web curriculum.

With mounting evidence that educational designers improve the effectiveness, quality, and consistency of online courses, CHLOE has tried to know why fewer than half the establishments in our survey require its use. For many, together with a high proportion of group schools, it is clearly a matter of perceived unaffordability. However CHLOE has found school are immune to any requirement that limits their independence and educational freedom to shape their online courses as they choose, no matter useful resource limitation. 

Innovation vs. Stabilization 

By its very nature, on-line learning lends itself to innovation, as tools and methods are launched to reinforce its effectiveness and efficiency. In Fredericksen’s research of four-year and group school on-line leaders, greater than three out of 4 indicated that they are seen as change brokers of their establishments. Nevertheless, when CHLOE asks COOs to estimate the quantity of change over the previous three years and predict the extent of change in supply of online learning at their institution within the next three years, solely 36% reported main modifications within the current past and even fewer (24%) report plans for main change in the close to future.  The good majority report solely supplementary modifications in each timeframes. While this degree of innovation seems adequate to maintain on-line learning shifting ahead, these responses additionally point out a rigidity between innovation, with its dangers and rewards, and the strain to take care of a secure setting in service to ongoing packages.


Is Online Learning a Internet Value or a Revenue Middle?

Much has been written concerning the true prices of mounting and sustaining on-line packages. Outcomes can range substantially, based mostly on very totally different online improvement models and the biases of the investigator. There’s also lack of agreement on the costs that must be counted towards online packages and people from which they should be exempt. CHLOE has chosen to simply ask COOs for his or her bottom line: Is online studying a internet value or revenue generator at their establishments? In the pattern as an entire, 45% judged on-line learning to be a internet income generator and only 18% thought it was a internet value, while 28% thought it different. Still others provided extra nuanced judgments. Among the largest on-line enrollment establishments, 59% contemplate online a revenue generator, and group schools are least probably (35%) to view it in that mild.


Thus, CHLOE outcomes mirror continuing distinction of opinion. Within the survey, more constructive views of online studying’s income potential correlate with larger enrollments and extra formidable plans to broaden and to implement technical and pedagogical modifications.

Online Learning Fashions

One aim of the CHLOE venture has been to determine totally different approaches to on-line learning that cluster institutions with widespread traits, practices and plans. We started with merely grouping establishments by control (public, personal, for-profit), scope of program (2-year and Four-year), and online enrollment (underneath 1,000 on-line college students, 1,000-7,500 and above 7,500).

With three years of knowledge, we’ve begun to combine control and measurement to see if different traits line up persistently in these groupings. The early outcomes are encouraging, but additional subdivision of the ensuing models will require further research. Finally, we hope that establishments will have the ability to find in CHLOE a peer group with which to match their practices, plans, policies and performance. Such comparisons may stimulate debate inside establishments to guage their strategy to online studying points and contemplate options. The 5 CHLOE online learning fashions at this stage of our work are as follows:

Under are a number of examples of how our preliminary models examine with one another. In these examples we will see putting contrasts, the need to further refine the models, and questions that demand follow-up.


The following graphic illustrates that the majority of Enterprise faculties give attention to nationwide competition, nearly all of Regional Publics concentrate on regional rivals, and most Group Schools are involved about native and regional rivals. A majority of Regional Privates, nevertheless, determine national competitors, perhaps reflecting their ambition to recruit and compete nationally. The relative stability between native, regional and national competition recognized by the Low Enrollment group might point out a have to subdivide this model into institutions that have very distinct views of their position in on-line learning and the threats they face.

Within the following graphic, CHLOE asks COOs to match the efficiency of online college students to on-ground students, based mostly on their most-used performance benchmark.

The benchmark chosen was sometimes course grades, term-to-term retention or graduation rates. Ninety-four % of Regional Publics judged their on-line college students to be performing as nicely or higher than on-ground college students, adopted by 85% at Enterprise faculties and 84% at Low Enrollment establishments. These are impressively giant majorities, indicating that faculties in these models have largely overcome any hole in efficiency between their online and on-ground packages.

The corresponding determine for Group Schools is just 43%, indicating that on-line college students in a majority of establishments in this model are usually not performing nicely. Regional Privates present extra combined outcomes among establishments, with two-thirds reporting comparable or higher results for online students and almost a 3rd reporting worse outcomes. These are regarding results for the model that has the very best proportion of absolutely online college students and on-line graduate students. Each of these models increase questions on which future CHLOE surveys will try and shed mild.

Extra comparisons among the five fashions could be discovered within the CHLOE Three Report,Behind the Numbers (2019). Different subjects included in this article are developed at larger length in the CHLOE Studies.


[i]Garrett, R., & Legon, R. (2019). CHLOE 3 Behind the Numbers: The Altering Panorama of Online Schooling 2019. Retrieved from High quality Issues website:;Garrett, R., & Legon, R. (2018). The Changing Panorama of On-line Schooling (CHLOE): A Deeper Dive. Retrieved from High quality Issues website:; Garrett, R., & Legon, R., (2017). The Altering Landscape of Online Schooling (CHLOE). Retrieved from Quality Issues website:

[ii]“A Nationwide Research of Online Studying Leaders in U.S. Larger Schooling” (Fredericksen, 2017) and “A National Research of Online Studying Leaders in U.S. Group Schools” (Fredericksen, 2018)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

fbq(‘init’, ‘1238905602845533’);
fbq(‘monitor’, ‘PageView’);