Online Education Here to Stay

Online Education Here to Stay

News and information for college and university leaders

The number of online courses at colleges and universities may soon equal the number of traditional face-to-face offerings, according to The Sloan Consortium’s third annual report on online education.

Growing by Degrees: Online Education in the United States, 2005 addresses many questions about the state of online education: Are course and program offerings in online education part of the mainstream? Who is teaching online? Is online education becoming part of institutions’ long-term strategies? Have online enrollments continued their rapid growth? What do chief academic officers believe about online education?

Highlights from the report:

* Overall online enrollment increased from 1.98 million in 2003 to 2.35 million in 2004.

* Sixty-five percent of institutions that offer graduate face-to-face courses and 63 percent of institutions that offer undergraduate face-to-face courses offer courses at the same level online.

* Seventy-four percent of public colleges report that core faculty teach their online courses, as opposed to only 61 percent for their face-to-face courses.

* Many chief academic officers believe it takes more effort to teach online, but it is no harder to evaluate the quality of an online course than one taught face to face.

The full report is available at www.sloan-c.org/resources/ survey.asp.

Copyright American Council on Education Winter 2006

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