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ERIC Number: ED530101
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Feb
Pages: 28
Abstractor: ERIC
ISBN: ISBN-0-9766-7148-4
Making the Grade: Online Education in the United States, 2006. Southern Edition
Allen, I. Elaine; Seaman, Jeff
Sloan Consortium (NJ1)
"Making the Grade: Online Education in the United States, 2006--Southern Edition" is based on data collected for the fourth annual report on the state of online education in U.S. higher education. Supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and based on responses from over 700 southern colleges and universities, this year's study, like last year's, is aimed at answering some of the fundamental questions about the nature and extent of online education: (1) Has the growth in online enrollments begun to plateau?; (2) Who offers online courses and programs?; (3) Is online education becoming part of long-term strategy for most schools?; (4) How do Chief Academic Officers rate the quality of online courses?; and (5) What barriers do academic leaders see to widespread adoption of online learning? The survey analysis is based on a comprehensive sample of active, degree-granting institutions of higher education in the sixteen southern states. Findings reveal that there has been no leveling of the growth rate of online enrollments; institutions of higher education report record online enrollment growth on both a numeric and a percentage basis. The distribution of online students by level of study is similar to that of the general higher education student body, but the mix of schools at which they are enrolled is not. Previous reports in this series have shown a very uneven distribution of online course and program offerings by type of institution. This year's results show no major changes from previous patterns. The same types of institutions are at the forefront of online offerings. The first national study in this series found that a majority of Chief Academic Officers rated the learning outcomes for online education "as good as or better" than those for face-to-face instruction. The following year's report displayed similar results. By an increasing margin, most Chief Academic Officers believe that the quality of online instruction is equal to or superior to that of face-to-face learning. Previous studies, both national and southern editions, have identified a number of areas of concern for the potential growth of online offerings and enrollments. Problem areas identified in previous years are still seen as areas of concern among academic leaders. Additional tables are appended. [For related reports, see "Making the Grade: Online Education in the United States, 2006" (ED529697) and "Making the Grade: Online Education in the United States, 2006. Midwestern Edition" (ED530102).]
Sloan Consortium. P.O. Box 1238, Newburyport, MA 01950. Tel: 781-583-7561; Fax: 888-898-6209; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
Authoring Institution: Sloan Consortium