Friday, January 9, 2015

Has Online Higher Education Stopped Growing?

by , Education Dive:

Dive Brief:
  • The most recent figures available from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics show that the number of students taking online post-secondary courses in the U.S. has essentially stopped growing.
  • The figures are from data for the fall 2013 term, and they show the first ever lack of growth in online courses, according to Phil Hill, an education technology consultant who writes the e-Literate blog.
  • The year-over-year change in students taking at least one online course was 1.4%, or a growth to 5.52 million from 5.44 million, considered to be statistically insignificant in part because of colleges and universities that changed how they reported the data during the year.

Dive Insight:

As Hill points out, this could become a big story if other data supports the same conclusion, especially considering that so much analysis of higher education assumes that online enrollment and course numbers will grow larger and larger.

The data shows that 2.66 million students took only online classes. The number of students taking at least one online course was 27.1% of the total graduate and undergraduate student population of 20.36 million.

Recommended Reading

e-Literate: No Discernible Growth in US Higher Ed Online Learning

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