Online education has become a critical component for colleges and universities, according to the 2014 Babson Survey Research Group report. That’s particularly true for smaller campuses, where 70% of the academic leaders from schools with fewer than 1,500 students told Babson researchers that online education was a critical long-term strategy at their institutions.
Overall, 71% of respondents said online education was an important part of the educational plans at their schools, up from 66% in the 2013 report.
The study, Grade Level: Tracking Online Education inthe United States, also reported that 74% of academic leaders said they believe online courses are at least as good as face-to-face courses, but that most professors continue to be wary of online courses. In fact, just 28% of the academic leaders said their professors thought online courses were legitimate, the same percentage from the 2002 survey, according to an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education.
The study reported just a 3.7% increase in the number of distance-education students in 2014, the lowest increase in the 13 years of research. It also found that only 8% of the institutions in the survey offered massive open online courses (MOOCs). Just 16% of the academic officers said they believe MOOCs are a sustainable way to offer online courses.