Download Report: Enrollment in Distance Education Courses

June 15, 2014

National_Center_for_Education_Statistics_logo_(USA)A NEW REPORT

This month, the U. S. Department of Education released a report on enrollments of students in distance education courses in colleges and universities. The report indicated that despite the growth of the filed, the overwhelming majority of  students (15,694,955, 75%) in Title IV colleges and universities have not been touched by online courses.


In recent years information and communication technologies (ICT) have revolutionized thinking about how to improve teaching and learning, and provide educational access to non-traditional learners who may not have had a chance to participate in a campus-based system. An earlier report by Parker, Lenhart and Moore (2011) indicated that 89 percent of four-year public institutions offer courses via the Internet, while the participation rate for private institutions is 60 percent. In this report it is also indicated that slightly more than half (51%) of college presidents surveyed believed that online courses are equal in value to campus-based courses. However, the public perception of the value of courses offered via the Internet is not as positive. Only 29 percent of the general pubic, and 39 percent of students believed that there is parity of esteem between these two modes of instruction. Nevertheless, 50 percent of college presidents predicted that by 2021 most of their students would be taking classes via the Internet. Allen and Seaman (2013) reported that despite the growth of the distance education only the lives of 32 percent of students in all types of colleges and universities have been touched by distance education. This constitutes 6.7 million students in all types of colleges of universities who have taken at least one course online, a growth of 570,000 over 2012.


Allen, I. E. and Seaman, J. (2013). Changing course: Ten years of taking online education in the United States. Babson Research group and Quahog Research Group. Retrieved from

Parker, K., Lenhart, A., & Moore (2011.) The digital revolution and higher education: College presidents, public differ on value of online learning. Washington, DC: Pew Research Center.