In the January 2 issue, as part of a special section on Technology and Education, Science published a review of online education.
The article authors, A Frank Mayadas, John Bourne and Paul Bacsich assert that “The millennials [students born after 1980] are changing the way teaching and learning must be approached. Mobile learning with podcasts, text messaging, and virtual worlds will be the future norm, giving faculty new tools through which to extend and enhance the educational experience.”
The article limited discussion to online education in traditional, degree-granting institutions. They included “blended courses” that featured both online and face-to-face time. Points they make include: annual enrollment has increased by about 20% per year for the past six years; about half the enrollments are full-time students attracted to online-learning because of convenience or scheduling; most enrollments are at public institutions, all of which offer some online instruction; only about half of the traditional private institutions offer for-credit online courses; the 3.94 million students taught online represent about 22% of the estimated national student population; the adjunct/permanent faculty ratio teaching online courses mirrors the ratio found in face-to-face teaching; online instructors assert that preparing and teaching online courses is more time-intensive than for face-to-face courses; online enrollments are dominated by traditional institutions rather than for-profit ones; institutions that have adopted online education are viewing it as a strategic asset.
Article: Online Education Today (subscription)