COVID-19 speeds up the already increasing trend towards Online Learning

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

According to several expert sources, the number of enrollments in online courses has more than doubled since 2012.

Due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, colleges and universities across the country and all over the world had to transition to Online Education earlier this year during the Spring 2020 semester.

As Summer 2020 came and went and the Fall 2020 semester began, many colleges and universities continued to offer colleges classes fully online or partially online as they also decided whether or not to fully or partially open college campuses back up.

For example, the entire California State University system—one of the largest public university systems in the country—decided to continue with mostly Online Learning classes for the start of the 2020-2021 school year. CSU was actually already one of the largest online education providers in the country prior to the COVID-19 pandemic; according to The Hechinger Report, as many as 150,000 college students took online learning classes at a college or university in the CSU system during the 2018-2019 academic year. 

In reality, there has already been increasing trend related to distance learning and online learning. An article by CIP Courses, cites that while overall undergraduate enrollment rates have dipped across the board from 2010 to 2018, the number of college students taking online courses increased rapidly and continues to do so. CIP Courses cites Julia Seaman of the Babson Survey Research Group saying that “the growth of distance enrollments has been relentless. They have gone up when the economy was expanding, when the economy was shrinking, when overall enrollments were growing, and now when overall enrollments are shrinking.”

The trend of increased online learning and virtual college education can be of no surprise as online education is proving to be beneficial to online students, colleges and universities! 

For students, online education provides the benefit of advancing their education interests while continuing to work full-or-part time and juggling family commitments. Online education offers a great deal of flexibility and convenience for both traditional and non-traditional students who are pursuing some sort of higher education qualification, be it a certificate program or a degree such as an associate degree, bachelor’s degree or even an online master’s degree.

For colleges and universities, the decision to offer more online courses helps appeal to the larger population of possible college students. Colleges and universities who have decided to take advantage of this trend can increase their enrollment rates and present themselves as an increasingly viable option for all different kinds of students.   

In an annual survey conducted by Wiley Education Services cited by the State of Oregon’s Employment Department, 78% of online students who learned in a face-to-face setting felt that their online learning experience was the same or better than the traditional classroom experience and 79% of those who completed their online degree agreed or strongly agreed that it was worth the cost. While students had mixed feelings when it came to the quality of online education they have experienced as a last minute response to COVID-19 during the Spring semester, students in general are happy with their online education experiences when they are offered by online colleges and online universities that have well-established online programs.

If you think that online education is right for you, let us help you with a couple of quick resources. Check out the list below to learn more about online learning!


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