How Many Colleges Offer Online Courses
How Many Colleges Offer Online Courses?
Online college courses and degree programs have seen an explosion in popularity and offerings in recent years that is akin to the Cold War Arms Race in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Changing attitudes from employers, the American population and Higher Education Institutions have fueled the desire to provide a college education to students who desire or need a more flexible and customizable course schedule. This need is so great, that current estimates for the total number of students enrolled in an online program or course is measured in the millions!
In fact, according to a survey of online learning conducted by Babson Survey Research Group, over 6.7 million students, or nearly one-third of all higher education students, enrolled in at least one online class in the fall of 2011. The survey also sites a significant number of institutions (69.1%) that state that online learning is a critical part of their strategic planning for future educational program development and growth.
Other key survey take-ways…
- 77% of academic leaders rated the educational results of online courses as the same or superior to those more traditional course types of classroom and lecture hall courses
- 62.4% of higher education institutions offered at least one online program, an increase from 34.5% since 2002
- 44.6% of academic leaders believe it takes more resources (faculty time and effort) to teach online classes than traditional classes
- 88.8% of academic leaders cite the need for more discipline on the part of online students as a barrier to the growth of online education
As college and university faculty and staff embrace the new technology and delivery methods, online education will continue to gain influence and popularity. Schools are experiencing fierce competition for the online student which will help the system grow even faster. As schools race to provide a quality delivery experience while maintaining accreditation standards, the students are the real winners because the online courses will inevitably get better, more cost effective and easier and more flexible than ever.
For the purpose of this article and as it also relates to the above study, the definition of an online course is; Any course where 80% or more of the course content is delivered online and the student and instructor typically have no face to face interaction.
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