Grade Change - Tracking Online Education in the United States, the 2013 survey of on-line learning report, authored by I. Elaine Allen and Jeff Seaman, is the eleventh annual report in this series on tracking online education in the United States. Originally the Sloan Online Survey, in recognition of the founding sponsor, the report is now produced through the Babson Survey Research Group.
This from the on-line announcement:
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?This survey also reveals that in 2013:
Are Learning Outcomes in Online Comparable to Face-to-Face Learning?
How Many Students are Learning Online?
How are Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) faring?
And much more...
--7.1 million of higher education students are taking at least one online course.
--The 6.1 % growth rate represents over 400,000 additional students taking at least one online course.
--The percent of academic leaders rating the learning outcomes in online education as the same or superior to those as in face-to-face instruction, grew from 57% in 2003 to 74% in 2013.
--The number of students taking at least one online course continued to grow at a rate far in excess of overall enrollments, but the rate was the lowest in a decade. (Sloan Consortium, 2013 Survey of Online Learning Report)
The survey may be downloaded: click here to download a copy of the survey.
The executive summary follows:
Grade Change - Tracking Online Education in the United States
(Babson Survey Research Group and Quahog Research Group, LLC.Jan. 2014)
Grade Change - Tracking Online Education in the United State 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?
Background: 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.Are Learning Outcomes in Online Comparable to Face-to-Face?
--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.
Background: The reports in this series have consistently found a growing majority of chief academic officers rate the learning outcomes for online education “as good as or better” than those for face-to-face instruction.
The evidence: The 2013 results show a small decrease in the percentage of academic leaders who view the learning outcomes for online instruction as the same of better than face-to-face instruction.
--The percent of academic leaders rating the learning outcomes in online education as the same or superior to those in face-to-face instruction had grown from 57 in 2003 to 77 percent in 2012. The upward trend was reversed this year, with a dip to 74 percent.
--The proportion of academic leaders who believe the learning outcomes for online education are inferior to those of face-to-face instruction increased from 23 percent last year to 26 percent this year.
--Academic leaders at institutions with online offerings remain positive about the relative learning outcomes for online courses; all of the decrease can be attributed to leaders at institutions without online offerings becoming more negative.
How Many Students are Learning Online?
Background: For every year of this report series online enrollments have increased at rates far in excess of those of overall higher education — at what point will we see online enrollment begin to plateau? Growth rates for online enrollments have been decreasing over the past few years — will this trend continue?
The evidence: The number of additional students taking at least one online course continued to grow at a rate far in excess of overall enrollments, but the rate was the lowest in a decade.
--The number of students taking at least one online course increased by over 411,000 to a new total of 7.1 million.
--The online enrollment growth rate of 6.1 percent is the lowest recorded in this report series.
--The proportion of higher education students taking at least one online course is at an all-time high of 33.5 percent.
What is the Future of Online Learning?
Background: Academic leaders are well aware of the continued growth in online education. They also see what changes, if any, this growth has had for their own institutions. What do they think the future holds?
The evidence: Chief academic officers are strong believers that the number of students taking online courses will continue to grow. They are divided on other aspects of the future of online learning. --Ninety percent of academic leaders believe that it is “Likely” or “Very Likely” that a majority of all higher education students will be taking at least one online course in five years’ time.
--Two-thirds of chief academic officers believe that there will be substantial use of student-directed, self-paced components in future online courses.
--Less than one-third of academic leaders believe that there will no longer be concerns about the relative quality of online courses.
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
Background: The 2012 report noted that for all the publicity that Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have generated, only a small number of institutions either had or were planning to offer a MOOC.
The evidence: The results for 2013 are very similar to 2012 — a small segment of higher education institutions are experimenting with MOOCs with a somewhat larger number in the planning stages. Most institutions remain undecided.
--The percent of higher education institutions that currently have a MOOC, increased from 2.6 percent to 5.0 percent over the past year.
--The majority of institutions (53 percent) report they are still undecided about MOOCs, while under one-third (33 percent) say they have no plans for a MOOC.
--Only 23 percent of academic leaders believe that MOOCs represent a sustainable method for offering online courses, down from 28 percent in 2012.
--A growing proportion of academic leaders have concerns that credentials for MOOC completion will cause confusion about higher education degrees (64 percent in 2013, up from 55 percent in 2012).