The Online Distance Learning series – people


Welcome to the next instalment in our Online Distance Learning (ODL) blogs, where we’ll be looking into each part of our recent national research project. This research provides a comprehensive overview of ODL in the UK and the findings (from our panel of 3,500) highlight key areas of focus across the entirety of the student journey. Our original blog and link to white paper can be found here.

In this blog series, we’ll cover what we found and what this information means. From our national report, we mapped our research against the 7Ps of the marketing mix and each of our blogs in this series will focus on one of the Ps.

Here we’ll be focusing on People, both in terms of the students themselves and the academics at the institutions they are considering or studying at.

When it comes to a student’s education, the quality can be one of the most important factors. Yet, their tutors and course leader’s reputations are not a significant factor in the decision-making process. The exception to this group, is Executive Education students, as they’re more likely to have been exposed to business academia and are aware of the importance of who is teaching them or contributing to the course.

A lot of online learners, establish a short list of institutions they are considering. More experienced students will have this narrowed down to one or two options, whilst the less experienced prospective students consider many more options. The time it takes for online learners to decide where to study is shorter than those choosing on-campus courses, due to the quick speed we’re able to research at now. Our research shows that for our panel, the time it takes from deciding where to study to starting the course is usually around the 3-month mark.

Overall, online learners are making quicker decisions compared to traditional students. With an ever-changing digital landscape, the need to be ‘forever-on’ has never been stronger.

This is a just brief snapshot of the comprehensive insight you’ll get from the rest of this series, as our report takes a thorough look at each of the 7Ps and dissects them. If you’d like to learn more about our ODL report, you can download the white paper here.