eLearning Research: The Sloan Consortium Finds Growth in eLearning

On our blog, we write a lot about the benefits of eLearning.  We have talked about topics such as the many conveniences of distance learning, the return on investment students get with choosing online coursework, and reasons providing eLearning opportunities to employees is beneficial to businesses and organizations among other things.  But what does the research say about online learning?  Today we would like to share with you the results of one eLearning research study conducted just last year.

In a report titled, Class Differences: Online Education in the United States, 2010, the Sloan Consortium uncovered some fascinating data about eLearning trends in the United States. These trends could most likely be translated to distance learning habits in other countries as well.  The organization conducting this research, The Sloan Consortium, or Sloan-C, is self-described as “A consortium of individuals, institutions and organizations committed to quality online.”  A few interesting highlights of their 2010 report include:

•          Almost two-thirds of for-profit institutions now say that online learning is a critical part of their long term strategy.

•          The 21%growth rate for online enrollments far exceeds the 2% growth in the overall higher education student population.

•          Nearly one-half of institutions report that the economic downturn has increased demand for face-to-face courses and programs.

•          Three-quarters of institutions report that the economic downturn has increased demand for online courses and programs.

This report is the eighth in an annual study of online learning trends conducted by the Sloan Consortium.  The 2010 survey found that enrollment in distance learning courses rose by almost one million students from enrollment figures one year prior.  This report surveyed over 2,500 colleges and universities in the United States.  Of the colleges and universities participating in this study, about 5.6 million of their students were found to be enrolled in at least one distance learning course in the fall of 2009.  For the sake of comparison, a study conducted by the Sloan Consortium in 2008 found that enrollment in online courses rose just over twelve percent from the prior year and that about 3.94 million students were taking an eLearning course in the fall of 2007.

According to one of the study’s coauthors, Elaine Allen, this means that almost 30% of the surveyed college and university students are taking at least one eLearning course.  She also pointed out that “This represents the largest ever year-to-year increase in the number of students studying online.” If you would like to read the full report published by the Sloan Consortium, a link is provided here on their website.  Other fascinating reports on additional eLearning trends and topics are also available on the Sloan Consortium website.

If you find this research compelling and would like to pursue an online degree or distance learning coursework or training yourself, Gatlin International has a vast course catalogue of classes to choose from.  And remember, with Gatlin International you can enroll any time you like and study when you want.  Visit the Gatlin International course catalogue to look into some of the amazing courses we have to offer today.

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