Key report findings include:
Over 7.1 million students were taking at least one online course during the fall 2012 term, an increase of 411,000 students over the previous year.
The online enrollment growth rate of 6.1 percent is the lowest recorded for this report series.
Thirty-three percent of higher education students now take at least one course online.
The percent of academic leaders rating the learning outcomes in online education as the same or superior to those in face-to-face grew from 57.2 in 2003 to 77.0 percent last year, but fell back to 74.1 percent this year.
The proportion of chief academic leaders that say online learning is critical to their long-term strategy dropped from 69.1 percent to 65.9 percent.
Ninety percent of academic leaders believe that it is likely or very likely that a majority of all higher education students will be taking at least one online course in five year’s time.
Only 5.0 percent of higher education institutions currently offer a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), another 9.3 percent report MOOCs are in the planning stages.
Less than one-quarter of academic leaders believe that MOOCs represent a sustainable method for offering online courses.
While we can’t completely predict the future of online education, research reports help us see the way a bit more accurately.