Trends in Online Learning

Online Nation: Five Years of Growth in Online Learning represents the fifth annual report on the state of online learning in U.S. higher education.  This study (published in October 2007), like those for the previous four years, is aimed at answering some of the fundamental questions about the nature and extent of online education:

  • How many students are learning online?
  • Where has the growth in online learning occurred?
  • Why do institutions provide online offerings?
  • What are the prospects for future online enrollment growth?
  • What are the barriers to widespread adoption of online education?

The article is a very good analysis and summary, although given my interests, there are some other issues I would love to see explored in future studies:

  • What are the trends for each academic discipline (ie, Christian spirituality, religion, etc)?
  • What are the trends internationally?
  • Other than for increased enrollment and/or financial considerations, why should an institution pursue growth in online education (ie, specifically, how does online education enhance the completion of an institution’s mission)?

Any comments, ideas, relevant experiences, etc?

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