Did you know that online education has actually been around for nearly 20 years? According to FindOnlineEducation.com, there were 750,000 students enrolled in online classes in 1995. That number was up to 5.6 million as of 2009 and is still growing.
The Web is allowing students to access courses from anywhere in the world, and as WCET notes, it is especially changing summer classes:
According to recent data reported by each of MnSCU’s (Minnesota State Colleges and Universities) 37 institutions, online learning now accounts for 41% of the system’s total summer full-year-equivalent (FYE) credit production. If you add blended/hybrid courses into this mix, the total system FYE figure jumps to approximately 49%. In the summer of 2012, twenty MnSCU institutions reported 40% or more of their summer FYE is now generated online. Ten of those institutions generated more than 50% of their summer enrollment online.
By most accounts, online learning is very effective. Edutopia goes into more detail about just how well online students are performing:
A U.S. Department of Education analysis of more than 40 studies, including five focused on K-12 pupils, found that "students who took all or part of their classes online performed better, on average, than those taking the same course through traditional face-to-face instruction." Another study, by the National Survey of Student Engagement, reported that the online-learning experience yielded deeper use of "higher-order thinking, integrative learning, and reflective learning."
The infographic below provides a snapshot of online education today and a sneak peek at the future.