Dear Commons Community,
The latest edition of the Allen & Seaman studies, Grade Change: Tracking Online Education in the United States, was published this morning. It contains a plethora of information on online learning in American higher education and is available as a free download. Below is an excerpt from the executive summary. It is my sense and the sense of several colleagues from the Sloan Consortium who discussed this report over the weekend that online learning may be reaching its plateau. However, I would venture that blending learning which the report does not address is probably increasing significantly.
Grade Change – Tracking Online Education in the United States is the eleventh annual report on the state of online learning in U.S. higher education. The survey is designed, administered and analyzed by the Babson Survey Research Group, with data collection conducted in partnership with the College Board. Using responses from more than 2,800 colleges and universities, this study is aimed at answering fundamental questions about the nature and extent of online education.
Is Online Learning Strategic?
Previous reports in this series noted the proportion of institutions that believe that online education is a critical component of their long-term strategy has shown small but steady increases for a decade. The evidence:
When this report series began in 2002, less than one-half of all higher education institutions reported online education was critical to their long-term strategy. Last year that number was at an all-time high of close to seventy percent.
The proportion of chief academic leaders that say online learning is critical to their long-term strategy dropped to 66 percent in 2013. Institutions that do not have any online offerings account for all of the decrease from 2012 to 2013, while those with online offerings are as positive in 2013 as they were in 2012.
The proportion of institutions reporting online education is not critical to their long-term strategy has dropped to a new low of 9.7 percent.