Campus Visit

Inside the Digital Classroom

For this month’s “Transition to Digital” issue, we’re skipping our typical visit to a brick-and-mortar campus and taking you inside the virtual classroom, where millions of educators and students are thriving!

Meet today’s digital student body

Over one in four U.S. higher education students now takes at least one course online. That’s a whopping 5,828,826 students. And those numbers just keep growing: up by nearly a quarter of a million students from the year before. (That’s even more impressive when you consider that overall higher education enrollments dropped last year.)

Drilling down just a bit, 72% of all undergraduate and 38.7% of all graduate-level online students are enrolled at public institutions.

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Click on the map for more information

The trend of increasing distance education enrollments in the face of declining overall higher ed enrollments suggests an important shift in the American higher education landscape, with contemporary learners leaning in to online options. The majority of academic leaders recognize this and understand online learning is critical to their institution’s long-term strategy.

—Kathleen S. Ives, CEO and Executive Director, Online Learning Consortium

For faculty, perception challenges remain

If you’ve ever taught or taken an online course, you probably know how much work and rigor is involved and how powerful digital learning environments can be. But online learning may still face some perception challenges among faculty. According to Babson Survey Research Group, just 29.1% of academic leaders report that their faculty accept the “value and legitimacy” of online education. In spite of this, 71.4% of academic leaders rate the learning outcomes in online education as the same or superior to those in face-to-face instruction…and that speaks volumes!

How does online learning change students’ lives?

Everyone’s educational road is different. Whether they’re taking care of families, following new career paths, or training for the Olympics, learners can rely on the accessibility and flexibility of online learning to help them change their lives.

The faces of online learning and teaching

Online education, like all education, is about real human beings: powerfully committed educators and students. We’d like you to meet a few of them.

Sean Nufer

eLearning Specialist and Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology

Smokey Chrisman

Student, Great Basin Community College

“Professor Josh” Murdock

Instructional Designer & Professor of Ed Tech & Social Networking, Valencia College

Terry Austin

Professor of Biology, Temple College, Texas

Ronit Berger

Lead Online Tutor, Pearson Smarthinking

Madelaine Perry

Student, Mississippi State University

Mayen Handy

Student, Arizona State University

Janet Correa

Student, Community College of Aurora

Bruce Kauss

eLearning Coordinator, Blue Mountain College

Join the online learning conversation

You’re never more than a click away from millions of people who are sharing and learning from each other on social media. Get involved and join the conversation!

Degrees Digital Magazine | Issue 8

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