With online learning programs in demand and growing fast, higher-ed leaders have to ensure that their programs meet student needs and set students up for success.

A new report offers takeaways and best practices around four major topics impacting online learning programs: data analytics, curriculum, standards and measurement, and mentoring and coaching.

The report comes from the Online Student Success Symposium, a two-day gathering of online practitioners to discuss challenges, innovative practices, and areas for future research. Recommendations and key takeaways are a product of the participants’ discussions and experiences.

Related: How to (almost) guarantee success in higher ed online learning

5 focus areas for online learning leaders

Participants agreed on five major takeaways that can benefit online learning programs and student success:

1. Understand current and future student populations.

To best serve the online learner population now and in the future, it is critical to gain a thorough understanding of these educational consumers, including their potential risk factors, curricular interests, educational and career goals, and interventions that will support their success.

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. When she isn't wrangling her two children, Laura enjoys running, photography, home improvement, and rooting for the Terps. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura http://twitter.com/eSN_Laura

Add your opinion to the discussion.