Publications and studies on online studies

Trend study – distance learning

Recent developments in the German online study and distance learning market.

A total of 6,400 people took part in the Trend Study Distance Learning: Education 2021. Around 50 per cent of participants are currently enrolled in an online study or distance learning programme at a German university, and around 40 per cent are planning to start such a programme in the near future. Three per cent have dropped out of an online study or distance learning programme. About five per cent have already successfully completed their chosen programme. It is the largest study of the living and studying conditions for online study and distance learning students and took place for the fifth time in 2020/21.

You can find the study results here.

Background of the trend study

Why do students choose the online study / distance learning model? And how does this pay off in terms of salary and career? A lot has also changed in the field of digital learning.

Financial Check – Online study and distance learning: This is why the model pays off
Those who enrol in an online study or distance learning programme primarily want to further their personal development, which is what around 61 per cent of those surveyed said they wanted. The study results of the graduate group show that these set expectations are largely fulfilled: More than half of the graduates surveyed stated that they had undergone positive changes in their careers as a result of their online studies or distance learning qualification. For example, they took on more attractive tasks, received a higher salary and improved their chances of promotion. 77 per cent of the respondents were of the opinion that studying online had been financially worthwhile, with 51 per cent even reporting a salary increase of at least 20 per cent.

Learning 3.0 – How digital is distance learning?
The decision to study online also means being open to new teaching and learning methods. As the use of technical tools and gadgets in everyday life continues to grow in the course of rapid digitalisation, the online offer at universities is being accepted without any problems, according to the study. Therefore, the "online campus" learning environment with online lectures available for download and online tests is very important to the participants of the Trend Study. However, additional technical gadgets, such as voice-controlled tools or augmented reality or virtual reality tools, play more of a subordinate role for the respondents. Study scripts in printed or digital form are about equally important to the respondents. Interactive study scripts, on the other hand, are only important for about 30 per cent of respondents. As their preferred studying medium, they would primarily use their laptop, a tablet computer, their smartphone or a desktop computer.

About the Distance Learning Trend Study
How much time do you have to spend on studying online / distance learning? Which learning formats work particularly well for distance learning? Is it worth the time and financial effort? These and many other questions about online studies and distance learning have been regularly addressed by IU International University since 2011. Its Trend Study on Distance Learning is a nationwide, cross-university survey of current and former distance learning students and those interested in distance learning. Around 5,000 people took part in the 2018 survey in October and November 2018. Cooperation partners were the provider-independent platform Fernstudium-Infos.de, as well as oncampus, provider of distance learning and online continuing education courses.

The previous online surveys were conducted in 2011, 2014 and 2016 and provide comparative values on developments in the distance learning market.

Results of the Trend Study 2021