The COVID-19 crisis continues to touch nearly every aspect of American life, but the latest Strada Public Viewpoint research shows Americans’ interest in online learning will endure beyond the pandemic.
This week’s findings reveal Americans’ perceptions of online education, from whether they feel they can learn effectively online to the value of online education in the job market.
The nationally representative Public Viewpoint survey, with more than 14,000 responses collected between March 25 and July 23, is intended to provide insights to the education and training providers, policymakers, employers, and individual Americans who are navigating the COVID-19 crisis. This week’s analysis integrates additional data from Strada-Gallup Education Consumer Surveys, fielded between 2016 and 2020.
- Interest in online learning is significant and independent of the COVID-19 crisis. Three in 10 Americans say that even if COVID-19 was not a threat, they'd prefer an online-only learning option. Another 30 percent would prefer hybrid options.
- In the pandemic, a disproportionate number of women prefer online-only education options. Over the next six months, women are 50 percent more likely to seek online than they would be if COVID-19 were not a concern.
- Recent graduates of programs at online institutions rate the value of their education higher than graduates of other four-year colleges. This differs from general public expectations about the relative value of in-person and hybrid programs as superior to online when it comes to employment.
- Black Americans expressed the strongest preference for and most confidence in online-only learning options. Black Americans were substantially more likely to express interest in enrolling in online-only learning programs and rate the quality and value of online-only options as better than in-person or hybrid options.
- ·Americans have diverse preferences for in-person, online, or hybrid modes of learning. Americans’ perceptions of the quality and value of in-person, hybrid, and online-only learning options are strikingly similar.