Is Online Learning Mainstream?
Some interesting numbers and studies:
- “Students: According to Going the Distance, an annual survey of online education presented by The Sloan Consortium, (Sloan-C)” over 6.1 million students were taking at least one online course during the fall 2010 term.” This group also found that almost a third (31%) of “higher education students now take at least one course online.” And it’s not just about college-level learners. Last year Forbes presented a report from Ambient Insight finding that “over 4 million K-12 students took at least one online course in 2010.”
- Courses: The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) found that during the 2006-2007 academic year “61% of 2-year and 4-year institutions reported offering online courses.” And the 2011 Sloan-C report includes that a majority (65%) of schools surveyed “say that online learning is a critical part of their long-term strategy.”
- Demand: The Noel Levitz 2011 National Online Learners Priorities Report [PDF] finds that “online learners are a growing population on campuses across the country.” Convenience, flexible pacing, and work schedules are cited as the three most important factors for enrollment in online courses. This was the case for students “enrolled primarily online” and those “enrolled primarily on campus.” Face-to-face alternatives are in demand as students balance work and other responsibilities along with their studies.
- Acceptance: While there may still be resistance from employers to hiring graduates of online programs, these numbers are improving. A 2010 study from the Society for Human Resource Management found that 87% of human resources professionals surveyed “agreed” or “strongly agreed” that “online degrees are viewed more favorably today than five years ago,” and 79% had hired online graduates in the previous year. There has been widespread concern in the past that schools offering only online classes may have lower academic standards and less credibility than their traditional counterparts, however, as more of these traditional institutions launch their own online programs, online degrees may gain prestige and respect.”
Stanford University’s president predicts the death of the lecture hall as university education moves online
Snippet: “Stanford University recently explored offering online courses to a larger audience with a programming class for iPhone applications, first available in 2009, that has been downloaded more than one million times.
This past fall, more than 100 000 students around the world took three engineering classes — Machine Learning, Introduction to Artificial Intelligence, and Introduction to Databases.
Stanford president John L. Hennessy says that’s just the beginning. In fact, in his vision of the future, the lecture hall will play a much smaller role.”
I’m a fan of hybrid learning not loving the classroom only model any more than online learning without a live lecturer/facilitator/professor/teacher. That’s just me and to each their own. Online learning is certainly vastly improving access to education and more.