Monday, November 22, 2010

Online Learning in Higher Education

The Sloan Consortium has published "Class Differences: Online Education in the United States, 2010" which is an incredible resource for understanding the snails pace for technology adoption in our Colleges and Universities.

From the report based on responses form more than 2,500 colleges and universities:

"The evidence: After remaining steady for a number of years, the proportion of chief academic officers saying that online education is critical to their long-term strategy took an upward turn in 2010.
  • Sixty-three percent of all reporting institutions said that online learning was a critical part of their institution’s long term strategy, a small increase from fifty-nine percent in 2009.
  • The year-to-year change was greatest among the for-profit institutions, which increased from fifty-one percent agreeing in 2009 to sixty-one percent in 2010.
  • For-profit institutions also were the most likely to have included online learning as a part of their strategic plan."
The staggering thing is that online enrollments have really taken off in the last year.  Over 5.6 million students took at least one online course for the fall 2009 term - and increase of nearly 21% compared to growth of only 2% in total students going to college. Nearly 31% of college students take at least one course online!

Big shift in perception of online learning quality:
  • 2003:  57% of academic leaders say online learning outcomes are the same as or better than face-to-face
  • 2009:  75% of academic leaders say online learning outcomes are the same as or better than face-to-face
Well worth reading.  Always good to have the statistics handy.  For a great graph on online learning growth - see Quick and the Ed.