2011 Student Readiness Report is Now Available!

SmarterServices has released the 2011 Student Readiness Report.

Distance learning continues to grow at an incredible rate. As more students begin to learn online, it becomes obvious that distance learning is a better fit for some students than others. Individuals considering distance learning desire to know if studying online will be a good choice for them. Schools which invest heavily in attracting new online students want to retain the students across their degree program. Both schools and students benefit when a student’s level of readiness for learning online is measured.

The 2011 Student Readiness Report (SRR) uses data from 240,386 unique students from 258 colleges and universities during the time frame of July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011. Data from each of these students was analyzed in aggregate, and the findings are now being reported in the SRR. Among these students, 71% were female, only 30% were of traditional age (18-22 years old), 22% had “social” as their dominant learning style, 37% exhibited between 70%-79% of mastery in technical knowledge, and 53% scored 100% on technical competency skills. Statistically significant differences were found among the demographic factors of gender, ethnicity, age, institution type, and the number of prior online courses taken. For example, females were found to have statistically significant higher means on the constructs of individual attributes, typing accuracy, and life factors. Males were found to have statistically significant higher means on the constructs of reading rate and technical knowledge.

According to Sloan-C, over 5.6 million students were taking at least one online course during the fall 2009 term – a 21% increase over the number reported the previous year. This 21% growth rate for online enrollments far exceeds the 2% growth of the overall higher education student population. When asked about how the SRR data could help with the growth of the online student population, Dr. Mac Adkins, President of SmarterServices said, “The Student Readiness Report is of substantial interest to distance learning leaders as they plan to continue to scale and improve their programs. For example, the aggregate data included in the report is useful to instructional designers as they craft their courses to be intuitive for learners of various learning styles and technical abilities, while the information about learners’ life factors and their abilities is useful to student services personnel”.

To download a free copy of the report, go tohttp://www.smartermeasure.com/documents/2011_Online_Student_Readiness_Report.pdf.

The student data came from the SmarterMeasure learning readiness indicator. SmarterMeasure is a web-based, diagnostic tool that measures students’ strengths and opportunities for improvement in six areas related to online learning and technology rich courses. Those include life factors, learning styles, individual attributes (such as procrastination, motivation, etc), technical competency & knowledge, typing speed & accuracy, and on-screen reading rate & recall.