On the Sidelines No More: New Study Finds that Online Learning Is Moving into the Mainstream of American Education

Barry Lenson

Study Finds that Online Learning Is Moving into the Mainstream of American Education

Study Finds that Online Learning Is Moving into the Mainstream of American Education  “Going the Distance: Online Education in the United States 2011,” reports the results of the ninth annual survey of American online education conducted by the Babson Survey Research Group and the College Board. The report is comprehensive, based on responses from more than 2,500 educational institutions and academic leaders. You can download the report by clicking here.

Here are some highlights that document the fact that – beyond any doubt – online education is now in the mainstream of American education: 

  • More than 6.1 million American students were enrolled in at least one online course during the fall 2010 term. That is an increase of 560,000 students over 2009.
  • Thirty-one percent of all higher education students are now taking at least one course online.
  • The rate of growth in online enrollments is 10 times that of enrollments in all other forms of higher education. "While growth rates have declined somewhat from previous years, we see no evidence that a dramatic slowdown in online enrollments is on the horizon,” according to study co-author I Elaine Allen, Co-Director of the Babson Survey Research Group and Professor of Statistics & Entrepreneurship at Babson College.
  • More students are enrolling in online health courses than in courses in any other subject area.
  • Overall, students are just as satisfied with online courses as they are with classroom courses.
  • Sixty-five percent of higher education institutions now say that online learning is a critical part of their long-term planning and strategy. 

This study should dispel any lingering doubts that computer learning is never going to be widely accepted, or that it delivers learning less effectively than classroom learning does. How is it working for you? 

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