Inside Technology: Online Higher Education Grows

Feb. 1, 2012
More than 6.1 million college students were taking at least one online course during the fall 2010 semester.

More than 6.1 million college students—31 percent of those enrolled—were taking at least one online course during the fall 2010 semester, according to a report on online learning. "Going the Distance: Online Education in the United States, 2011," compiled by the Babson Survey Research Group in partnership with the College Board, gathered data from more than 2,500 higher-education institutions.

The number of students in online courses in 2011 represents a 10 percent increase over the previous year. That compares with an increase of less than 1 percent in the overall number of higher-education students, the survey says.

Sixty-five percent of colleges and universities say that online education is a critical part of their long-term strategy. Sixty-seven percent of academic leaders at higher-education institutions believe the learning outcomes in online courses are the same or superior to face-to-face sessions. But less than one-third of chief academic officers believe that the faculty members at their institutions accept the value and legitimacy of online education.

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