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Here’s a Snapshot of Online Learning in 2015

The Babson Survey Research Group released its last annual survey of the online-education landscape on Tuesday. You can read its report on the survey here, and below are some of its key findings:

  • The percentage of academic leaders who said online learning was critical to their institution’s mission dropped from 71 percent, in 2014 — the highest ever — to 63 percent.
  • The number of distance-education students increased at a slightly higher rate — 3.9 percent — from 2014 to 2015 than it did in the previous year.
  • The percentage of academic leaders who said their faculty members believe online education is legitimate remained very low — 29 percent.

This will be Babson’s final annual report. In the introduction to this year’s report, the authors — I. Elaine Allen and Jeff Seaman, Babson’s co-directors — cite as reasons to end the annual survey “the maturation of distance-education programs in higher education and the growing number of other reports and surveys that have launched since we began this particular effort, back in 2003.”

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