When colleges and universities take a strategic approach to digital learning, and when they invest in designing and developing high-quality courses and programs, they are able to realize critical objectives, according to a digital learning report from Arizona State University and The Boston Consulting Group.

The report examines the upfront and ongoing costs of supporting digital learning, and it also looks at the returns in terms of student access, student outcomes, and economic impacts on students and institutions.

And although each institution will take a slightly different path toward digital learning, the promising practices outlined in the report can act as a helpful starting point.

The report finds that, in general, investments in high-quality digital learning programs help institutions to:

• Deliver equivalent or even improved student learning outcomes. Institutions in the study reported higher retention and graduation rates for students who took least a portion of their degree program online. Such students also earned their degrees faster, saving them money on tuition and fees, and enabling them to enter or return to the workforce sooner.

• Improve access, particularly for disadvantaged students. The institutions we studied increased access on multiple levels—in the total volume of student enrollment and in the proportion of specific populations, including Pell Grant-eligible students, older students, and female students.

About the Author:

Laura Ascione

Laura Ascione is the Managing Editor, Content Services at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura

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