Online education is entering mainstream?

This report says it is!

Some of the main findings are:

  • There is no evidence of a plateau in online enrollments.

  • The growth rate for online enrollment continues to increase; schools are predicting almost a 25% growth in students taking at least one online course for 2004.

  • The predicted Fall 2003 online enrollments of 1.9 million students from last year's study was quite accurate. Schools exceeded their predicted enrollment growth (19.8% predicted vs. 22.9% actual increase in enrollments).

  • For-profit institutions continue to expect the largest growth in their online learning component, faster than any other institutions of higher education, expecting growth rates greater than 40%.

  • Baccalaureate institutions see the lowest value in online education with only a quarter saying it is important to their long-term strategy.

  • A large majority of all institutions agree that students are as satisfied with online courses as they are with face-to-face offerings.

  • Online learning outcomes continue to be judged to be equivalent or superior to face-to-face instruction at most institutions.

Is this an idea whose time is coming? After so much hype and so many false starts?