2012 Babson Survey: 32% of college students take at least one online course

The 2012 Survey of Online Learning conducted by the Babson Survey Research Group has been released. Key report findings include:

  • Over 6.7 million students were taking at least one online course during the fall 2011 term, an increase of 570,000 students over the previous year.
  • Thirty-two percent of higher education students now take at least one course online.
  • Seventy-seven percent of academic leaders rate the learning outcomes in online education as the same or superior to those in face-to-face classes.
  • The proportion of chief academic officers who believe their faculty accept the value and legitimacy of online education has not increased – it now stands at only 30.2 percent.
  • The proportion of chief academic leaders who say online learning is critical to their long-term strategy is at a new high of 69.1 percent.

The tenth annual survey, a collaborative effort between the Babson Survey Research Group and the College Board, is the leading barometer of online learning in the United States.   Based on responses from over 2,800 academic leaders, the complete survey report, “Changing Course:  Ten Years of Tracking Online Education in the United States” is available at http://sloanconsortium.org/publications/survey/changing_course_2012

Are On-line Discussion Forums Conversations?

Here’s a snip from a great post on Nancy Dixon’s, Conversation Matters blog.

“First, I fully support on-line forums. I have had the opportunity to set up on-line forums in many organizations; I co-authored a book about CompanyCommand which is one of the best on-line forums around; and I encourage organizations to make use of on-line forums every chance I get. In my opinion on-line forums are the gold standard of knowledge sharing.

My concerns are related to what I observe happening in many on-line discussion forums. I observe that a member asks a question and then various other members provide an answer. But there is little back and forth among the members. Rather, each responder simply makes a declarative statement that represents his or her own position. Responders may not have even read others’ answers before stating their own position.” Read the full piece here.

Cisco Report: Majority of Students Value Internet Over Dating & Cars

64 percent of the 3000 college students and newly employed college grads who were surveyed in the 2011 Cisco Connected World Technology Report, said that the Internet is more important to them than cars, dating, going out with friends, or listening to music. This has important implications for higher education.

According to Renee Patton of Cisco, “If we can’t find ways to engage students in the learning process, we’ll lose them. So if students are using Facebook in lecture halls, rather than being upset about it, we can view it as an opportunity. The larger question is, how can we take advantage of tools like social networking, lecture capture, and virtual field trips to engage students?” READ MORE