Open Educational Resources
In addition to conducting and releasing our own reports, the Babson Survey Research Group also provides survey design and implementation services for other organizations. Selected examples of this work is presented below.
Time for Class: Lessons for the Future of Digital Courseware in Higher Education
The Babson Survey Research Group has worked with Tyton Partners on a number of studies of K-12 and higher education. These include studies on Role and Potential for Instructional Technologies in the U.S. Adult Education Field, Resource Allocation and Use of Third-Party Providers for Student Services in Higher Education, and Lessons for the Future of Digital Courseware in Higher Education.
Digital courseware has the potential to alleviate the pressures building through the delivery of scalable, personalized instruction; however, the category as a whole has not delivered on its promise. In order to better understand the current state of the courseware market, Tyton Partners, with support from The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, completed a comprehensive scan of the postsecondary digital courseware landscape in the summer of 2014. This scan included a national survey of over 2,700 faculty and administrators and the review and analysis of over 120 products to develop a product taxonomy designed to help institutions and education professionals navigate the diverse and complex courseware market.
NASULGC-Sloan National Commission on Online Learning
The National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC, A Public University Association), in cooperation with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, appointed the NASULGC-Sloan National Commission on Online Learning. This president-led commission is intended to assist and challenge college and university leadership to increasingly view online learning as a strategic tool to achieve broad institutional goals which, in turn, should lead to substantial benefits for today's post-secondary learners.
A critical part of this investigation was the examination of experiences and attitudes of the Presidents and Chancellors of these institutions. Quahog Research Group, operating through the Babson Survey Research Group, designed and conducted these studies.
National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges
Presidents and chancellors are assuming an increasingly visible and integral role in the integration of online education into the functions and missions of their institutions. This national commission was appointed, in cooperation with NASULGC, to better understand the knowledge base and experience of these institutional leaders relative to the strategic use of online learning. The initial effort of the Commission was to survey presidents and chancellors of NASULGC institutions to better understand their views and experiences relative to online learning, and specifically to explore the role of online learning in their strategic thinking. Respondents were also surveyed to determine what they saw as barriers to their strategic use of online education and what role NASULGC might play in the incorporation of online learning into their institutions' strategic planning.
Survey responses, when sorted by the importance that the institution places on online learning as “critical to the long-term strategy of the institution,” show several notable trends. Not surprisingly, institutions that include online learning in their strategic plans were comparatively more likely than their peers to value both the improved student access and recruitment poten- tial that online can offer, as well as the potential pedagogical improvements and increased rates of retention and degree completion. In addition, these campuses indicate a greater recognition of online learning’s potential in strategic partnerships, academic continuity in disaster situations, alumni out- reach, and as a tool for faculty recruitment and retention.
National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education
The NASULGC-Sloan National Commission on Online Learning has partnered with the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO) to gauge the perspectives and experiences of the leaders of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs) in relation to online learning. This report summarizes the results of a survey administered to the NAFEO membership in November, 2007.
A preliminary, interview-based national study indicated a high level of interest by college and university heads in online learning as a strategic asset, with a majority responding that online or asynchronous learning was critical to their long-range planning. The survey of NAFEO CEOs yielded similar results, with 84.2% of respondents noting that online education is “critical to the long-term strategy” of their institution. The NAFEO presidents’ re- sponses are much more positive towards online education than those of chief academic officers at colleges and universities across the country that are surveyed every year by the Sloan Consortium (“National Sample”).
Virtually all (87.1%) NAFEO institutions that have online offerings believe that online learning is critical to the long-term strategy of the institution. A second survey item focused on the representation of online learning in the institution’s strate- gic plan. In contrast to the previous question, only 52.4% of respondents noted that online educa- tion was present in their institution’s strategic plan. However, that is still a significantly higher level than the national sample.
American Indian Higher Education Consortium
The NASULGC-Sloan National Commission on Online Learning has partnered with the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) to better understand the knowledge base and experience of Tribal College and University presidents relative to the strategic use of online learning. A survey of the CEOs, conducted in September 2007, was designed to stimulate a peer-to-peer dialogue among the presidents about the opportunities and challenges they face in more fully utilizing online learning at their institutions.
AIHEC was founded in 1972 by the leaders of the nation’s first six tribal colleges as an informal collaboration among member institutions. Today, AIHEC has grown to represent 36 Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) in the United States and one Canadian institution. Unlike most professional associations, AIHEC is governed jointly by each Regular Member institution. AIHEC’s mission is to provide leadership and influence public policy on American Indian higher education issues through advocacy, research, and program initiatives; to promote and strengthen Indigenous languages, cultures, communities, and tribal nations; and, through its unique position, serve member institutions and emerging tribal colleges.
The survey of Tribal College CEOs indicated a high level of interest by college and university heads in online learning as a strategic asset, with 61.5% of respondents noting that online educa- tion is “critical to the long-term strategy” of their institution. The TCU presidents’ responses corresponded to those of chief academic officers at colleges and universities across the country who are surveyed every year by the Sloan Consortium. Tribal College presidents as a group are very similar to the national sample on the issue of wheth- er online learning is important to their long-term strategic plan. Surprisingly, it is those Tribal institutions that do not yet have any online offerings that feel most strongly about this.