New Online Learning Rankings to be launched by Times Higher Education 

THE launches new Online Learning Rankings
November 22, 2023
Online Learning Rankings 2024

A new global online learning ranking will be launched by Times Higher Education (THE) in 2024 which will benchmark the successes and challenges of online learning for the very first time.

To be eligible for participate in THE’s Online Learning Rankings an institution must provide a degree-level programme (undergraduate or postgraduate excluding MBA's) where students’ engagement of teaching, learning and assessments are through online methods. In addition, the institution must be of good academic standing and distribute the student survey to their applicable students in online programmes.

A key part of the ranking will be the student survey where universities’ current students are asked for their assessment of various teaching and engagement measures through an online form with participants being entered into a prize draw to win one of five £500 Amazon vouchers*.

The data collection portal for the Online Learning Rankings will be open from April to June 2024 and the ranking will come out in December 2024. To participate in the ranking and find out more click here.

Billy Wong, THE’s Data scientist, said:  

“More and more universities are providing online learning to expand access to education to cater for diverse learning styles and enhance the flexibility of the learning experience.

“We want to help students understand, much better, the places that are providing an online learning experience and we think this will provide universities with invaluable insights into their online provisions.”

A university’s online learning will be assessed according to the following four criteria: 

  • Resource: measures the resource devoted to online learning and includes factors such as people, finance, training and support 
  • Engagement: measures students’ learning experience, which includes factors such as level of student engagement, interaction with teachers and other fellow students and aspects specific to online learning such as usability and convenience
  • Outcomes: measures student outcome, which includes factors such as graduation rate, progress rate and student recommendation
  • Environment: measures students’ learning environment assessing both the physical aspects such as tech support and offline resources, as well as the human aspects such as the mix of students and staff. 

Online degrees offer students flexibility in their learning and enable higher education institutions to significantly extend their reach to non-traditional learners. An online degree enables these students to participate in formal learning environments online whilst being able to continue their work, and they can make higher education more affordable.  

Duncan Ross, THE’s Chief data officer, said: 

“The Online Learning Rankings is yet another example of the increasingly diverse range of innovative rankings THE offers as we strive to offer unrivalled data insights, analysis and expertise to the higher education sector.  

“This year alone we launched ground-breaking new rankings on Sub-Saharan Africa and interdisciplinary science and will continue to push new boundaries in the work we do and the services we provide.”  

***ENDS *** 

* see the terms and conditions of the prize draw here.