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What Does Research Say About Online Learning?

Online Learning Statistics


Online learning has made a major impact in the world of education. Recent studies show that online learning is an effective and reputable way to earn a college degree.

Want to know more? Here are some highlights from online learning research reports:

1. Students involved in online learning outperform their peers.

According to a 2009 meta study from the Department of Education: “Students who took all or part of their class online performed better, on average, than those taking the same course through traditional face-to-face instruction.” Students who mix online learning with traditional coursework (i.e. blended learning) do even better. Source: Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies, United States Department of Education.

2. Millions of students are participating in online learning.

According to the Sloan Consortium, 3.9 million students took an online class in the fall of 2007. That number continues to grow every year. Source: Staying the Course: Online Education in the United States 2008, Sloan Consortium.

3. Most reputable colleges offer online learning.

During the 06-07, the National Center for Educational Statistics found that two-thirds of Title IV, degree-granting post secondary schools offered some form of online learning. (Title IV schools are properly accredited institutions permitted to participate in federal financial aid programs.) Source: Distance Education at Degree-Granting Postsecondary Institutions: 2006-07, National Center for Education Statistics.

4. Public colleges report a greater commitment to online learning.

Public schools are more likely to identify online learning as an essential part of their long-term strategy, according to the Sloan Consortium. Their online learning courses are also more likely to represent a greater number of disciplines. Source: Staying the Course: Online Education in the United States 2008, Sloan Consortium.
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