Online Learning: Are We There Yet?
The Babson Survey Research Group has been tracking online education among U.S. higher education institutions for over 10 years. By some measures online has been an amazing success: the number of online students has grown more than fourfold, the vast majority of higher education institutions have online offerings, and many claim it is a critical part of their long-term strategy. Other measures of online activity are very troubling: there remains considerable distrust on the part of faculty, many individuals have serious concerns about the quality of the learning outcomes, and everyone (administrator and faculty alike) believe it requires more time and effort to develop and deliver. So which is it? Is online learning the wonderful new delivery alternative that is providing millions of students with access to high-quality education or it just the latest fad that is watering down the quality for all of higher education?