January 20, 2017

Massive growth of online learning in Asia

Aakash 2: already 3.5 million ordered

Adkins, S. S. (2012) The Asia Market for Self-paced eLearning Products and Services: 2011-2016 Forecast and Analysis Ambient Insight, October

In all the hoopla about MOOCs, it is worth noting that in Asia, credit-based online learning is already reaching many millions of learners. This report from Ambient Insight, targeted mainly at the corporate e-learning market, provides a host of fascinating statistics about the Asian market for online learning.

Several countries for instance are putting their entire k-12 curriculum online. China’s goal is to have their entire K-12 population of over 200 million students online by 2020. In South Korea all primary and secondary schools must be entirely digital by 2015, and every child with have a personal learning device. In India, the Aakash 2 tablet, which launched this month, already has 3.5 million orders.

The report also highlights ‘explosive growth of online higher education enrollments‘ in Asia. One institution alone in China, ChinaEdu, has nearly 200,000 students taking degree programs wholly online, and over 100,000 South Koreans are enrolled in cyber universities.

Perhaps most interesting of all though is the author’s comment on how the digitization is occurring:

The content digitization tends to start with converting print-based textbooks to eTextbooks. Yet, once the infrastructure and learning technology is in place, the buyers are increasingly opting for interactive, self-paced multimedia content. Several of the newer initiatives are leapfrogging eTextbooks altogether and building out interactive media as a core component.

If you want to pay for a full copy of the report, contact: info@ambientinsight.com

Rapid growth of online learning product market

Ambient Insight Research (2012) The North America Market for Self-paced eLearning Products and Services: 2011-2016 Forecast and Analysis Monroe WA: Ambient Insight Research (note: $1,225 for the full report; free abstract available at: http://www.ambientinsight.com/Reports/eLearning.aspx)

PRWeb (2012) North American eLearning Market to Reach $27.2 billion by 2016 PRWeb, July 31

The Ambient Insight Research reports examine the current and potential markets for e-learning products such as packaged content, custom content development services, cloud-based authoring tools and learning platform services, installed authoring tools, and installed learning platforms.

Some results from the free abstract (I don’t have $1,225 unfortunately for the full report):

  • the market is growing 4.4% per annum in the USA and 16.8% in Canada
  • by 2016, the North American market will be worth $27.2 billion
  • North America had 62% of the market in 2011
  • the fastest growing products (9% per annum) in North America will be cloud-based authoring tools and learning platforms
  • ‘the global  market has largely been a story of corporate adoption in developed economies. That has changed dramatically in the last two years and the narrative is now one of rapid adoption in all the buyer segments, particularly in the consumer, academic, and government segments in developing economies.’
  • in particular, growth rates predicted between 2011-2016:
    • Vietnam: 44%
    • Malaysia: 39%
    • Romania 37%
    • India: 32%
    • China: 30%.


Although Canada has some significant players in the market (Desire2Learn in particular), I am wondering if there is a lost opportunity here. In particular, there seems to be a large gap between institutional developments (content and applications) and corporate developments (software and equipment) in Canada. This report suggests that there are tremendous opportunities if the main institutional and corporate players in Canada would only get together to look at collaborating in the international online market.

Continued growth forecast for US HE online enrolments

The following report suggests that by 2014, the majority of students will be taking courses fully online rather than on campus

Ambient Insight Research (2009) US Self-paced e-Learning Market Monroe WA: Ambient Insight Research

Nagel, D. (2009) Most College Students To Take Classes Online by 2014 Campus Technology, October 28

This research report, announced in Campus Technology, October 28, is very significant for e-learning in higher education, and indeed for higher education in general, if accurate (and it seems to have been a well conducted study, taking into account the impact of the recession).

The Ambient Insight report provides the following figures for the USA

2009: 27.04 million students in higher education programs in total

1.25 million students in higher education programs take all of their classes online (4.6%)

10.65 million take some of their classes online (39%) – this probably includes blended and hybrid classes.

15.14 million take all of their courses in physical classrooms (54%)

2014 27.34 million students in higher education programs in total (an increase of  2% over 5 years)

3.55 million students in higher education programs take all of their classes online (12.8%)

18.65 million will take some of their classes online (68.2%)

5.14 million students will take all of their courses in a physical classroom (19%)

Note that the report here seems to be equating e-learning with fully online (i.e. distance education) courses.

You are strongly recommended to read both the Campus Technology article and the extensive summary from Ambient Insight Research available for free downloading (if you want the full report, it costs over $4000).

I still need to read the report in full and more carefully. When I do, I’ll add some comments to this posting.