Babson Research Study: More Than 6.7 Million Students Learning Online

    Babson Research Study: More Than 6.7 Million Students Learning Online

PR Newswire

WELLESLEY, Mass., Jan. 8, 2013

Babson research finds most institutions remain undecided about massive open
online courses

WELLESLEY, Mass., Jan. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The 2012 Survey of
Online Learning conducted by the Babson Survey Research Group reveals the
number of students taking at least one online course has now surpassed 6.7
million. Higher education adoption of massive open online courses (MOOCs)
remains low, with most institutions still on the sidelines.

"The rate of growth in online enrollments remains extremely robust, even as
overall higher education enrollments have shown a decline," said study
co-author Jeff Seaman, Co-Director of the Babson Survey Research Group.
"Institutional opinions on MOOCs are mixed," added co-author I. Elaine Allen.
"Some praise them for their ability to learn about online pedagogy and attract
new students, but concerns remain about whether they are a sustainable method
for offering courses."

Todd Hitchcock, Senior Vice President of Online Solutions, Pearson Learning
Solutions, stated, "Learning is no longer limited to four walls – learning can
happen anywhere – and it already is happening everywhere, everyday. The growth
of online learning underscores this need for quality, flexible education
programs that meet the demands of our 21st-century workforce."

Frank Mayadas, Senior Advisor to the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and founding
President of the Sloan Consortium noted, "As in past years, the survey
demonstrates the continuing robust growth in a wide range of institutions. It
underscores the importance of online learning in higher education in the U.S.
What a remarkable ten year period the survey has captured."

Key report findings include:

  oMore than 6.7 million students were taking at least one online course
    during the fall 2011 term, an increase of 570,000 students compared to the
    previous year.
  oThirty-two percent of higher education students now take at least one
    course online.
  oOnly 2.6 percent of higher education institutions currently have a MOOC,
    another 9.4 percent report MOOCs are in the planning stages.
  oAcademic leaders remain unconvinced that MOOCs represent a sustainable
    method for offering online courses, but do believe they provide an
    important means for institutions to learn about online pedagogy.
  oSeventy-seven percent of academic leaders rate the learning outcomes in
    online education as the same or superior to those in face-to-face classes.
  oThe 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.
  oThe 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.
  oThe perception of a majority of chief academic officers at all types of
    institutions is lower retention rates for online courses remain a barrier
    to the growth of online instruction.

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. The complete survey report, "Changing Course:
Ten Years of Tracking Online Education in the United States", is based on
responses from more than 2,800 academic leaders.

Previously underwritten by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the report has been
able to remain independent through the generous support of Pearson and the
Sloan Consortium.

Pearson , the world's leading learning company, has global reach and
market-leading businesses in education, business information and consumer
publishing (NYSE: PSO). Pearson helps people and institutions break through to
improved outcomes by providing innovative print and digital education
materials, including personalized learning products such as MyLab and
Mastering, education services including custom publishing, content-independent
platforms including the EQUELLA digital repository, and the Pearson
LearningStudio online learning platform and OpenClass online learning

The Sloan Consortium (Sloan-C) is an institutional and professional leadership
organization dedicated to integrating online education into the mainstream of
higher education, helping institutions and individual educators improve the
quality, scale, and breadth of education. Originally funded by the Alfred P.
Sloan Foundation, Sloan-C is now a non-profit, member-sustained organization.

The Babson Survey Research Group in the Arthur M. Blank Center for
Entrepreneurial Research at Babson College conducts regional, national, and
international research projects, including survey design, sampling
methodology, data integrity, statistical analyses and reporting.

SOURCE Babson Survey Research Group

Contact: Michael Chmura, +1-781-239-4549,
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