Education sentences to ponder

More than 75 percent of online students enroll at an institution within 100 miles of their homes, according to recent research from The Learning House (and consistent across past surveys over time). A majority of online students visit campus to access services and support, or to attend events and in-person courses, in a true blending of online and in-person.

Here is a good Sean Gallagher survey on the rise of on-line degrees.


As the court said in Brown v. Board--"In the future all education will be home-schooling and this case will be irrelevant." the USA.

Universally, the picture may be different.

Why? I doubt it. People are pretty tribal and overseas it's just as bad if not worse than the USA. In the Philippines every little neighborhood thinks it's better than the one next door.
The OP is an example of the 'gravity' phenomena in free trade (countries trade with each other).

As more young people choose urban living, getting to campus can be a chore - America's public transit lags behind transit in other advanced countries - even when the campus isn't that far away. Online classes are convenient. Does it make a difference? Probably. One learns a lot interacting with other students and faculty. I live and work in two different places, so I often work remotely from my home office. I've found that I'm more productive working remotely - fewer distractions. But this is late in my career. I watch online classes (I often use the iTunes university app). Many of the online classes are regular college classes that are taped to be broadcast online. Something I've notice is how little interaction there is between the professor and the class. Is that typical, or is interaction being limited because of the taping? I went to law school after college, so my memory is of the Socratic method (the standard law school technique for teaching). That wouldn't work online. I don't know if the Socratic method is an effective teaching method, but it does instill the value of being prepared: one never knows when she will be it, it being the foil for the professor.

I teach in Australia. Australian universities are tripping over themselves to do more and more on-line education. (For one thing, it's cheaper - many fewer buildings needed, etc. Don't ask about the learning quality.) Not all, by any means, but many of the on-line students are "local", at least in the sense discussed above. This is in part because the admission standards for the "on line" students are lower, so students who would have liked to have been "on campus" students, but who didn't have good enough test scores, often enroll on line. Unfortunately, these are also often students who really do need more support, and need the disciplinary devices of going to classes, being called on, etc. So, at least in many cases, the are further disadvantages. But, so long as their checks are good, the university is happy, or so it seems.

?? ... a vague, non-random "survey" of 1,500 current, future and recently graduated online students somewhere in the world.

establishing facts is unimportant to academic speculation

Nice progress. I would have liked to have seen it happen faster, but this is probably one of those things that will be viewed historically as very fast.

Certainly by 2040 the idea that students had to physically go to all their classes is going to seem terribly primitive.

I'm enrolled in an online masters at Georgia Tech. This somewhat matches my experience. 75% seems a little high. I live in Atlanta, in my only group project about 40% of people(including me) were from the ATL area. The comment boards for the courses seem most active in EST time.

In the future I think most high-level professionals will be involved in some form of online class. At less that 10k dollars for a degree you can't afford not too! Many businesses in the US will cover 5k of education expenses per year because of tax benefits. Many people will be able to fully expense these low cost/high quality programs.

I'm doing the program too, I'm a little farther away than 100 miles. I picked the particular program because it's a reputable school and I far prefer online learning to slow-paced, inconvenient classrooms.

On the other hand, if there was a reputable school with a similar program within 100 miles (so that people recognized it more), I would probably be in that program.

I am doing the OMSCS at Georgia Tech now and live much further than 100 miles. I think GT's online MOOC programs are maybe a bad example of this, actually. They do not differ the price between in-state and out-of-state (it's a very affordable degree), and there are a lot of international students in the program. I previously did another distance masters degree, and did it from a school that's roughly 100 miles from me because the department was pretty well ranked and it offered in-state tuition, making it the best deal available for that particular subject (and fit entirely in my company's tuition reimbursement policy). In-state tuition was roughly half of out-of-state, and this sort of practice may be part of why you see people enrolling in online programs in schools close to home.

Maybe I should mention that I have taken some online classes. I liked them. The total effort to get through with a good grade might be lower than all that work and walk attending physical classes, but the big trick is to stay on top of it early on.

You don't really know how many hours a class or a homework will take, and if something is largely self-paced it is easy to fall behind.

I also think that taking an online class and bailing halfway through is better than not taking one at all. You learn the nature and foundation of the subject in a way you wouldn't otherwise.

So sign up today :-)

How many online students are just adults getting their continuing education requirements?

As long as gaining professional or semi-professional credentials or certification is the specific goal in pursuing online course studies, well and good, perhaps possibly maybe (no metrics yet for assessing the "high quality" on "online education", I suppose?).

In terms of simply "learning" or "adding to one's knowledge base", potential students have enormous cause for pause, though, since with READING (assuming potential students have mastered reading and are able to comprehend works from across numerous fields) with sound bibliographies in hand (that do not have to be derived from post-secondary coursework), potential students with sound undergraduate training can study without overwrought academic "guidance" through their twenties or thirties or into adulthood, whichever comes first.

I like this term "degree market," much more accurate than "education market."

So how does that 75% estimate compare to the student body at more traditional colleges and universities -- excluding the elite schools?

I would bet it is about the same.

We just had our deck renewed by a company that was composed of a father, three sons and a brother-in-law. Two of the three sons were still in high school.

I asked how they could be out working on a job and still be in high school. The answer was that most of their classes were available online but sometimes they had to attend a class.

These high school kids were learning and applying skills in construction that would last them a life time. They were almost certainly getting a better education than just sitting in an high school classroom.

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