online learning myths

Report: Millions of students reveal surprising online learning trends


New study reveals that collaboration is still not a prevalent online learning habit; mobile phones have yet to be used for serious learning.

Collaborative Learning

  • 79 percent of those surveyed choose not to study collaboratively even when they are online.
  • Researchers believe this lack of online collaboration is a legacy of traditional learning methodologies.
  • There has been a steady increase in group activity—the percentage of visits to groups as a percentage of total visits to GoConqr went up by 38 percent from April to October 2016—suggesting that a “cultural shift is underway where the power of social networks for education, and not just entertainment, is being recognized,” notes the report.

Mobile Learning

  • The report finds that the growth rate for mobile is not as accelerated as the general mobile web usage trends. For example, the percentage of users who access GoConqr via a mobile device accounted for 30 percent of all traffic in 2016. When compared to global mobile usage stats of 45 percent of all web traffic, it becomes evident that learning on devices “is still not as prevalent as general browsing,” states the report. “This data suggests that learning is lower down the list of priorities for users of mobile devices.”
  • There are 6 visits via a mobile phone for every 1 visit via a tablet.
  • Android dominates globally with over 70 percent of the mobile connections to CoConqer having an Android OS.
  • 48 percent of the mobile connections in the U.S. and 65 percent of the mobile connections in the U.S. are iOS.
  • Mobile users prefer to view content rather than create it via their mobile device: desktop users spend on average 5 minutes and 44 seconds creating a resource, while only a small proportion of those surveyed create their own content; and when they do, they spend an average of 2 minutes and 45 seconds.

Subjects

  • English is the most popular subject for non-English speaking countries.
  • STEM subjects tend to be most popular online, especially in the U.K.
  • Researchers believe this data suggests that students are “taking ownership of their learning and finding ways to supplement in-school learning in the areas where the school system falls short,” says the report.
  • The report notes that online learning will play a key role in fields such as computing, physics, and other STEM areas due to these fields traditionally being seen as extremely difficult and inaccessible for most students and online learning now opening the doors to facilitate the learning process.

Active Learning

  • Users from Latin America—Columbia (93 percent) and Mexico (86 percent)—show a greater preference for engaging with learning by creating their own study resources.
  • There is a significant regional variation in use of GoConqr for active learning compared to the more traditional content consumption.

Learning and Teaching Styles

  • Those surveyed tend to favor interactive resources (mind maps, flashcards and quizzes) over traditional ones (notes and slides) in a ratio of about 8:1.
  • Among the content creation tools available to learners, the most popular by a significant margin is the Mind Map tool: a highly visual study tool in which a central idea or theme is explored through its connections with a series of related ideas or topics.
  • The Mind Map tool preference is supported by another statistic, which states that searches for Mind Maps on Google went up by 50 percent in the last 5 years.

For the full report, as well as research questions for the future, read “GoConqr Online Learning Report 2017” here.