- Babson Survey Research Group on Thursday unveiled the results of its 2014 Survey of Online Learning.
- According to the survey, which was co-sponsored by the Online Learning Consortium (OLC), Pearson, and Tyton Partners, reveals that the number of students taking one course or more online rose 189,187, or 3.7%, to 5,257,379.
- While 74.1% of academic leaders rate online learning outcomes the same as face-to-face options and 70.8% say it's essential to long-term strategy, only 20.8% reported their faculty viewing it with any "value and legitimacy."
Perhaps most notable, the 3.7% increase was the lowest in the survey's 13 years, despite continued growth in online enrollment at public and private nonprofits. Lower for-profit enrollments were cited as a culprit in the slowing growth.
Even with the slowing growth, it may be time for faculty holdouts to finally embrace the format, as it still outpaced higher ed's overall enrollment growth. Ultimately, the survey highlights how competitive the online higher ed marketplace has become, showing traditional institutions now overtaking for-profits, which could arguably be called the innovators of online courses.
On yet another front, the survey shows that the influence of massive open online courses may be on the wane, with 8% of institutions offering them and 5.6% planning to do so, accompanied by a decline of 18.7% in the number of higher ed leaders who see them as a sustainable online learning model. Perhaps there's still some promotional value in MOOCs, though?
For an infographic highlighting the survey's findings, click here.