The 2015 Survey of Online Learning conducted by the Babson Survey Research Group and co-sponsored by the Online Learning Consortium (OLC), Pearson, StudyPortals, WCET and Tyton Partners, is the leading barometer of online learning in the United States.
Key report findings include:
- A year‐to‐year 3.9% increase in the number of distance education students, up from the 3.7% rate recorded last year.
- More than one in four students (28%) now take at least one distance education course (a total of 5,828,826 students, a year‐to‐year increase of 217,275).
- The total of 5.8 million fall 2014 distance education students is composed of 2.85 million taking all of their courses at a distance and 2.97 million taking some, but not all, distance courses.
- Public institutions command the largest portion of distance education students, with 72.7% of all undergraduate and 38.7% of all graduate‐level distance students.
- The proportion of chief academic leaders that say online learning is critical to their long‐ term strategy fell from 70.8% last year to 63.3% this year.
- The percent of academic leaders rating the learning outcomes in online education as the same or superior to those in face‐to‐face instruction is now at 71.4%.
- Only 29.1% of academic leaders report that their faculty accept the “value and legitimacy of online education.” Among schools with the largest distance enrollments, 60.1% report faculty acceptance while only 11.6% of the schools with no distance enrollments do so.