Which Colleges Are Embracing Online Education?

Career College Central summary:

  • Two recent surveys from The Learning House, an e-learning services ­provider, report that nearly half of all state colleges in the United States offer at least five ­degrees online, while only 15 percent of private colleges offer the same. Why? There are no clear-cut answers to that question. But there are a few key differences between public and private institutions when it comes to philosophy and support of online learning. A majority of the private institutions surveyed reported charging a similar or lower tuition amount for online courses as charged for residential courses, and nearly a third charge a lower tuition amount.
  • On the public side, about a quarter of institutions surveyed charge a higher tuition amount for online courses, and more than half add a technology fee. For the future, public respondents' top three plans include adding online certificates, increasing international enrollment and using massive open online course (MOOC) content in regular courses. Most private respondents seek to add hybrid graduate programs and increase international enrollments.
  • The surveys reveal another ­interesting bit of information: Successful online and even hybrid ­online and on-campus courses resulted in pedagogic improvements (46 percent at private schools; 58 percent at public ones) as well as new technology for on-campus courses (77 percent, private; 85 percent, public). It would seem, then, that the new classroom technology and modes of instruction introduced through online programs also benefit residential students and non-online faculty.
  • As the dividing lines between online and residential students continue to melt away, truly the only question that should remain is what technology is best suited to enable student and faculty success? Beyond collaboration tools and telepresence ­technology that ­support online student ­engagement, institutions looking to introduce or improve their online learning offerings should take a hard look at their networks.

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