The Online Learning Consortium, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the quality of online learning, on Wednesday announced a new initiative to better understand the mental health needs of adult online learners.
In partnership with student teletherapy platform Uwill, OLC said it will conduct joint research this fall to better understand the mental health needs of online learners and raise awareness of the connection between mental health and academic success.
“Online institutions may need an increased focus on supporting student mental health to ensure academic success, as this factor is correlated to a student choosing not to continue their education,” Consortium CEO Jennifer Mathes said in a press release.
There’s a great need for further research into the needs of adult online learners, UWill CEO Michael London told StateScoop in an email.
“As you know, adult learners must balance their academic work with additional work and family responsibilities, which can create additional stress and worsen mental health issues,” London said. “While ample research was conducted during COVID into how online learning negatively impacts mental health of traditional students, there is less understanding about the mental health needs of adult online learners.”