3 things academic leaders believe about online education — from chronicle.com by Steve Kolowich; with thanks to Mr. Rob Bobeldyk, Assistant Director Teaching & Learning, Calvin Information Technology, for the heads-up on this article

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The Babson Survey Research Group released its annual online-education survey on Thursday. The Babson surveyors, Jeffrey Seaman and I. Elaine Allen, have been tracking online higher education since 2002, soliciting responses from chief academic officers at thousands of institutions.

You can read this year’s report, based on a survey conducted in 2014, here. But if you don’t have the time, here are three things academic leaders believe about online education:

  1. Online education has become mission-critical, even at small colleges.
  2. “Hybrid” courses are at least as good as face-to-face courses.
  3.  Most professors still don’t think online courses are legit.


Also, an excerpt from the press release:

Babson Study: Distance Education Enrollment Growth Continues, But at Slowest Rate Ever
Multi-year trend shows growth in online enrollments is moderating, yet outpacing overall higher ed enrollments.

(Wellesley, MA) – The 2014 Survey of Online Learning conducted by the Babson Survey Research Group and co-sponsored by the Online Learning Consortium (OLC), Pearson and Tyton Partners, reveals the number of higher education students taking at least one distance education course in 2014 is up 3.7 percent from the previous year. While this represents the slowest rate of increase in over a decade, online enrollment growth far exceeded that of overall higher education.

“The study’s findings point to a competitive marketplace, in which traditional institutions are gaining ground on the for-profits in online and distance education,” said study co-author Jeff Seaman, co-director of the Babson Survey Research Group.  “While the rapid pace of online learning growth has moderated, it still accounts for nearly three-quarters of all US higher education’s enrollment increases last year.”

The study also reveals the challenges for institutions in realizing the long-term strategic value of online learning while addressing concerns such as retention rates and acceptance by faculty. The proportion of chief academic leaders reporting online learning is critical to their long-term strategy reached a new high of 70.8 percent. At the same time, only 28 percent of academic leaders say that their faculty accept the “value and legitimacy of online education.”