Growth of Online Learning in Higher Ed

As Allen and Seamen (2008) note, online education has continued to experience steady and sustained growth and shows no signs of slowing anytime soon. I’ve personally found through my own experience that in these particularly challenging times for higher education, institutions are increasingly looking to online education as one way to not increase revenue but also expand course offerings. Allen and Seamen’s findings support the common approach among higher education institutions today to strategically implement online learning in overall programmatic development efforts.

Not only are institutions embracing online education today, but students are also flocking to online modes of learning in record numbers. As noted, over one-fifth of all higher education students are now taking at least one online course (Allen & Seamen, 2008). A primary reason why online education may be so popular especially among adult, non-traditional learners is the flexibility that it affords. The learner can continue his or her education while still continuing a career and maintaining other personal commitments.

What other factors do you suspect may be contributing to the steady growth of online education in higher education? Post a comment with your thoughts!

Reference:

Allen, I. E., & Seaman, J. (2008). Staying the course: Online education in the United States, 2008. Needham, MA: Sloan-C. Retrieved June 17, 2009, from http://www.sloan-c.org/publications/survey/staying_course