More respondents reported a fundamental preference for online learning this year than previously

Attitudes toward online learning improved post-pandemic

More respondents reported a fundamental preference for online learning this year than previously

Positive attitudes toward online learning have increased to their highest levels yet among learners who use it, according to Wiley’s annual Voice of the Online Learner report.  

The vast majority–94 percent–of online learners in the survey said they have a positive or very positive view of online learning, up from 86 percent before the pandemic. And 83 percent said they would learn online again.  

Among graduated online learners, 87 percent reported achieving an outcome they can attribute to their degree, such as obtaining a salary increase or more marketable skills. 

“Our findings suggest those individuals who engage in online learning overwhelmingly have a positive experience,” said Todd Zipper, Wiley’s executive vice president and general manager of University Services and Talent Development. “They also see real value in the results they achieve through online education, which allow them to advance in their career.” 

The report is based on a national survey of 2,500 adult respondents enrolled or planning to enroll in an online degree or certificate program.

Pandemic-Driven Online Learners Persist, But Lack Commitment 

Last year’s report identified a new group of pandemic-driven online learners, who hadn’t considered a fully online program before the pandemic forced many institutions to shift to remote instruction in early 2020. This segment of online learners persisted this year, representing a third of the respondents.  

There are doubts, however, about whether this group will stick with online learning moving forward. Pandemic-driven learners in the survey, who skew younger than traditional online learners, were more likely to prefer in-person than online instruction, and around a third expressed a likelihood to return to campus-based learning in the future. 

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Laura Ascione

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