Online Nation: Five Years of Growth in Online Learning
Online learning in higher education has grown at an average annual rate of almost 22 percent over the past five years, with an estimated total of about 3.5 million students having taken online courses in fall 2006, according to researchers at Babson College in Babson Park, Mass.
The authors surveyed students at 2,500 colleges and universities between 2002 and 2006, and found that the most current number of online students, at 3.5 million, reflected a 10 percent increase from 2005, a jump that is much higher than the 1.5 percent growth in overall higher education student population in the same period.
The survey also found that the highest increase in online-course enrollment occurred at two-year institutions, where half of online enrollments at all colleges and universities had taken place.
A version of this article appeared in the October 31, 2007 edition of Education Week