Online Report Card: Tracking Online Education In the United States

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The 2015 Survey of Online Learning conducted by Babson Survey Research Group has been released.  This is their 13th annual report on online learning.  This year’s survey and report was co-sponsored by the Online Learning Consortium (OLC), Pearson, StudyPortals, WCET, and Tyton Partners.  Babson’s reports have become known as the “leading barometer of online learning in the United States.” (Previous reports are available here for 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, and 2007)

The key findings of the report include: Continue reading “Online Report Card: Tracking Online Education In the United States”

Rick W. Burkett runs the John A. Logan College Teaching and Learning Center, teaches history, and heads an educational nonprofit. He publishes blogs on a wide variety of topics, including history, teaching and learning, student success, and teaching online.
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Grade Level: Tracking Online Education In the United States

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The 2014 Survey of Online Learning conducted by Babson Research Group, the Online Learning Consortium, Pearson, etc. was recently released.  One of the findings was that the number of higher education students who are taking at least one online course was up 3.7 percent over the previous year.  While that is slower growth than in the past, it still far exceeds the the overall growth rate of higher education in general.

The key findings are:

  • The year-to-year 3.7% increase in the number of distance education students is the lowest recorded over the 13 years of this report series.
  • Public and private nonprofit institutions recorded distance enrollment growth, but these were offset by a decrease among for-profit institutions.
  • The percent of academic leaders rating the learning outcomes in online education as the same or superior to those in face-to-face remained unchanged at 74.1%.
  • The proportion of chief academic leaders reporting online learning is critical to their long-term strategy reached a new high of 70.8%.
  • Only 28.0% of academic leaders say that their faculty accept the “value and legitimacy of online education.”
  • The adoption of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Course) is reaching a plateau, only 8.0% of higher education institutions currently offer one, another 5.6% report MOOCs are in the planning stages.
  • The proportion of academic leaders who believe that MOOCs represent a sustainable method for offering online courses dropped to 16.3%.

The press release is available here.

The infographic is available here.

The full report is available here: gradelevel

Rick W. Burkett runs the John A. Logan College Teaching and Learning Center, teaches history, and heads an educational nonprofit. He publishes blogs on a wide variety of topics, including history, teaching and learning, student success, and teaching online.
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Grade Change: Tracking Online Education In the United States

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The 2013 survey of online education administered by the Babson Survey Research Group has just recently been released.  The survey was conducted in conjunction with the Online Consortium and Pearson.

The survey aimed to answer the following questions:

  • Is Online Learning Strategic?
  • Are Learning Outcomes in Online Comparable to Face-to-Face Learning?
  • How Many Students are Learning Online?
  • How are Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) faring?
  • And much more…

And had these key findings:

  • 7.1 million of higher education students are taking at least one online course.
  • The 6.1 % growth rate represents over 400,000 additional students taking at least one online course.
  • The percent of academic leaders rating the learning outcomes in online education as the same or superior to those as in face-to-face instruction, grew from 57% in 2003 to 74% in 2013.
  • The number of students taking at least one online course continued to grow at a rate far in excess of overall enrollments, but the rate was the lowest in a decade.

The full survey is available here.

Or, here: gradechange

 

Rick W. Burkett runs the John A. Logan College Teaching and Learning Center, teaches history, and heads an educational nonprofit. He publishes blogs on a wide variety of topics, including history, teaching and learning, student success, and teaching online.
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Changing Course: Ten Years of Tracking Online Education in the United States

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The 2012 survey of online learning by the Babson Survey Group has recently been released.  The survey was conducted with the support of Sloan-C and Pearson.  The survey found that the number of students taking at least one online class has surpassed 6.7 million.  It also found that the adoption of Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) is low with most institutions sitting on the sidelines.

According to the report online growth “remains extremely robust,” even in a time declining enrollments in higher education overall. With regards to MOOCs, they found, “Institutional opinions on MOOCs are mixed, with positive views of their ability to learn about online pedagogy and to attract new students, but concerns about whether they represent a sustainable method for offering courses.”

The key findings in the report are:

  • Over 6.7 million students were taking at least one online course during the fall 2011 term, an increase of 570,000 students over the previous year.
  • Thirty-two percent of higher education students now take at least one course online.
  • Only 2.6 percent of higher education institutions currently have a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), another 9.4 percent report MOOCs are in the planning stages.
  • Academic leaders remain unconvinced that MOOCs represent a sustainable method for offering online courses, but do believe that they provide an important means for institutions to learn about online pedagogy.
  • Seventy-seven percent of academic leaders rate the learning outcomes in online education as the same or superior to those in face-to-face.
  • Only 30.2 percent of chief academic officers believe that their faculty accept the value and legitimacy of online education – a rate is lower than recorded in 2004.
  • The proportion of chief academic leaders that say that online learning is critical to their long-term strategy is at a new high of 69.1 percent.
  • A majority of chief academic officers at all types of institutions continue to believe that lower retention rates for online courses are a barrier to the wide-spread adoption of online education.

The report is availalbe here.

Or, here: changingcourse

Rick W. Burkett runs the John A. Logan College Teaching and Learning Center, teaches history, and heads an educational nonprofit. He publishes blogs on a wide variety of topics, including history, teaching and learning, student success, and teaching online.
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Going the Distance: Online Education in the United States

Going the Distance

The 2011 annual suvey conducted by Babson Survey Research Group and the College Board is now available.  The report was produced in conjunction with Sloan-C, Kaplan Univeristy, Inside Higher Ed, and Pearson.

The survey shows that the growth rate in online enrollments is ten times that rate in higher education in general.  The key findings of the report are:

  • Over 6.1 million students were taking at least one online course during the fall 2010 term, an increase of 560,000 students over the previous year.
  • The 10% growth rate for online enrollments far exceeds the 2% growth in the overall higher education student population.
  • Thirty-one percent of higher education students now take at least one course online.
  • Reported year-to-year enrollment changes for fully online programs by discipline show most are growing.
  • Academic leaders believe that the level of student satisfaction is equivalent for online and face-to-face courses.
  • 65% of higher education institutions now say that online learning is a critical part of their long-term strategy.
  • There continues to be a consistent minority of academic leaders concerned that the quality of online instruction is not equal to courses delivered face-to-face.

The full report is available here.

Or, here: goingthedistance

Rick W. Burkett runs the John A. Logan College Teaching and Learning Center, teaches history, and heads an educational nonprofit. He publishes blogs on a wide variety of topics, including history, teaching and learning, student success, and teaching online.
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Class Differences: Online Education in the United States 2010

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The 2010 Sloan Survey of Online Learning has just been released.  The research was conducted by Babson Survey Research Group and the College Board and funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.  The report is distributed by the Sloan Consortium.

The survey of over 2,500 colleges and universities shows that over 5.6 million students were enrolled in one or more online class during the fall semester of 2009.  This is the largest ever increase in students in a year-over-year comparison.

The key findings of the report are:

  • Other report findings include:
  • Almost two-thirds of for-profit institutions now say that online learning is a critical part of their long term strategy.
  • The 21%growth rate for online enrollments far exceeds the 2% growth in the overall higher education student population.
  • Nearly one-half of institutions report that the economic downturn has increased demand for face-to-face courses and programs.
  • Three-quarters of institutions report that the economic downturn has increased demand for online courses and programs.

The full report is available here.

Or, here: class-differences

Rick W. Burkett runs the John A. Logan College Teaching and Learning Center, teaches history, and heads an educational nonprofit. He publishes blogs on a wide variety of topics, including history, teaching and learning, student success, and teaching online.
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Learning on Demand: Online Education in the United States, 2009

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The 2009 survey of online education funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is now available.  The survey was conducted by the Babson Research Survey Group.  The key findings of the survey were:

  • Over 4.6 million students were taking at least one online course during the fall 2008 term; a 17 percent increase over the number reported the previous year.
  • The 17 percent growth rate for online enrollments far exceeds the 1.2 percent growth of the overall higher education student population.
  • More than one in four college and university students now take at least one course online.

The full report is available here.

Or, here: learning-on-demand

 

Rick W. Burkett runs the John A. Logan College Teaching and Learning Center, teaches history, and heads an educational nonprofit. He publishes blogs on a wide variety of topics, including history, teaching and learning, student success, and teaching online.
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Staying the Course: Online Education In the United States, 2008

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The 2008 Sloan survey of online education in the United States. The survey was conducted by the Babson Research Survey Group.  The survey was funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.  The survey represents the responses of over 2,500 colleges and universities and addresses the following key questions:

How many students are learning online?:

  • Over 3.9 million students were taking at least one online course during the fall 2007 term; a 12 percent increase over the number reported the previous year.
  • The 12.9 percent growth rate for online enrollments far exceeds the 1.2 percent growth of the overall higher education student population.
  • Over twenty percent of all U.S. higher education students were taking at least one online course in the fall of 2007.

What is Impact of the Economy on Online Enrollments?:

  • There is widespread agreement that higher fuel costs will lead to more students selecting online courses.
  • Institutions that offer programs to serve working adults are the most positive about the potential for overall enrollment growth being driven by rising unemployment.

Do Academic Leaders and Faculty Agree?:

  • Both chief academic officers and online teaching faculty said that the flexibility in meeting the needs of students was the most important motivation for teaching online.
  • Being required to teach online had the lowest rated motivationin each group.
  • The largest difference in view is in the ranking of additional income as a motivation; chief academic officers ranked this second of seven items, faculty ranked it fifth.
  • Faculty ranking stressed student centered issues more so than the ranking of chief academic officers.

Is online Learning Strategic?:

  • The proportion of institutions declaring that online education is critical to their long-term strategy shows a small decline for fall 2007.
  • The proportion of institutions that see online education as a critical part of their long-term strategy appears to have reached a plateau over the past several years.
  • Public institutions continue to be the most likely to believe that online education is critical to their long-term strategy.
  • Approximately one-third of baccalaureate institutions consider online to be critical, a rate about half that of other institutional types.

What Disciplines are Best Represented Online?:

  • There is roughly equal penetration for seven of the eight major discipline areas being examined.
  • Engineering is the only discipline area where online representation is much lower than for other areas.
  • Public institutions have the highest penetration rates for all disciplines other than engineering.
  • Associate’s institutions have a wide lead in online penetration for psychology, social sciences, and liberal arts.

The full report is available here.

Or, here:staying-the-course

Rick W. Burkett runs the John A. Logan College Teaching and Learning Center, teaches history, and heads an educational nonprofit. He publishes blogs on a wide variety of topics, including history, teaching and learning, student success, and teaching online.
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Karen Swan, Relationships Between Interactions and Learning In Online Environments

Swan, Relationships Between INteractsions and Learning In Online Environments

This document was originally published back in 2004 by the Sloan Consortium.  It covers the interaction of Social Presence, Cognitive Presence, and Teaching Presence.  It also has an excellent overview of the relevant literature and bibliography.

The PDF is available here: Swan, Relationships Between Interactions and Learning In Online Environments.

Rick W. Burkett runs the John A. Logan College Teaching and Learning Center, teaches history, and heads an educational nonprofit. He publishes blogs on a wide variety of topics, including history, teaching and learning, student success, and teaching online.
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Online Nation: Five Years of Growth In Online Education

Online Nation

The 2007 survey of online education conducted by the Babson Research Survey Group is now available.  The research was funded by a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.  The survey represents the responses of over 2,500 colleges and universities and addresses these key questions:

How Many Students are Learning Online?:

  • Almost 3.5 million students were taking at least one online course during the fall 2006 term; a nearly 10 percent increase over the number reported the previous year.
  • The 9.7 percent growth rate for online enrollments far exceeds the 1.5 percent growth of the overall higher education student population.
  • Nearly twenty percent of all U.S. higher education students were taking at least one online course in the fall of 2006.

Where has the Growth In Online Learning Occurred?:

  • Two-year associate’s institutions have the highest growth rates and account for over one-half of all online enrollments for the last five years.
  • Baccalaureate institutions began the period with the fewest online enrollments and have had the lowest rates of growth.

Why do Institutions Provide Online Offerings?:

  • All types of institutions cite improved student access as their top reason for offering online courses and programs.
  • Institutions that are the most engaged in online education cite increasing the rate of degree completion as a very important objective; this is not as important for institutions that are not as engaged in online learning.
  • Online is not seen as a way to lower costs; reduced or contained costs are among the least-cited objectives for online education.
  • The appeal of online instruction to non-traditional students is indicated by the high number of institutions which cite growth in continuing and/or professional education as an objective for their online offerings.

What are the Prospects for Future Online Enrollment Growth?:

  • Much of the past growth in online enrollments has been fueled by new institutions entering the online learning arena. This transition is now nearing its end; most institutions that plan to offer online education are already doing so.
  • A large majority (69 percent) of academic leaders believe that student demand for online learning is still growing.
  • Virtually all (83 percent) institutions with online offerings expect their online enrollments to increase over the coming year.
  • Future growth in online enrollments will most likely come from those institutions that are currently the most engaged; they enroll the most online learning students and have the highest expectations for growth.

What are the Barriers to Widespread Adoption of Online Education?:

  • Academic leaders cite the need for more discipline on the part of online students as the most critical barrier, matching the results of last year’s survey.
  • Faculty acceptance of online instruction remains a key issue. Those institutions most engaged in online do not believe it is a concern for their own campus, but do see it as a barrier to more wide-spread adoption of online education.
  • Higher costs for online development and delivery are seen as barriers among those who are planning online offerings, but not among those who have online offerings.
  • Academic leaders do not believe that there is a lack of acceptance of online degrees by potential employers.

 

The full report is available here.

Or, here: online-nation

Rick W. Burkett runs the John A. Logan College Teaching and Learning Center, teaches history, and heads an educational nonprofit. He publishes blogs on a wide variety of topics, including history, teaching and learning, student success, and teaching online.
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