Frequently Asked Questions about Online Education

Frequently Asked Questions about Online Education

A general list of frequently asked questions and detailed answers about online education. Includes information about how online classes are organized and structured, the reputation and respectability of online degrees, accreditation information, financial aid resources, etc. Read The Article...

General Benefits of e-Learning

General Benefits of e-Learning

This article lists and explains some of the most noticeable benefits of completing online college coursework, especially as compared to the in-classroom instructional environment, and includes a discussion of why online education has enjoyed increased respect in recent years. Read The Article...

Is e-Learning Right For You?

Is e-Learning Right For You?

An informative article that details and explains the nature of online education. This article is primarily intended to help potential students make an accurate determination of whether or not they can succeed in the online education/e-Learning environment. Read The Article...

Understanding Accreditation

Understanding Accreditation

Will employers respect your online degree? Will your credits transfer to another institution? Does your online education have the same value as one earned on-campus? This article explains the general concepts of accreditation and why it matters to both students and employers. Read The Article...

Differences In Academic Schedules

Differences In Academic Schedules

The differences between self-paced, one-month, quarter, and semester terms, as well as an explanation of synchronous and asynchronous schedules in online classes. Students can use this information to help determine the best schedule for their own educational needs. Read The Article...

Online Learning Styles

Online Learning Styles

This article offers a detailed explanation of the visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning styles. The prevalent aspects of each learning style is addressed, including examples. The design of online education to meet the various online learning styles is also addressed. Read The Article...

Why Accreditation Matters

Why Accreditation Matters

What do colleges and students mean when they mention a university or program's accreditation? This article discusses accreditation - what exactly is is, why it matters, and how to recognize and avoid unaccredited online colleges and universities. Read The Article...

The History of Online Education

The History of Online Education

This article contains a general overview of the history of online education, and uses extensive statistics and research to display trends of online education, including its rapid and continued growth in popularity and respectability amongst both students and employers worldwide. Read The Article...

Demonstration of an Online Course

Demonstration of an Online Course

Are you curious about online education but have no idea how an online class "works?" This is an actual, working demonstration course that we have developed solely to help potential online students determine if online education is the right choice for their educational needs. View The Demonstration Course...

Information, resources, and tips to help service members transition from the front lines to the front of the class

Transitioning from the Front Line to the Classroom

The brave men and women of the United States Armed Forces are increasingly enrolling in college coursework to strengthen professional skills. This article explains the process of pursuing higher education as a service member, including numerous resources for financial assistance. Read The Article...

Step-By-Step Instructions to Complete the FAFSA

Step-By-Step Instructions to Complete the FAFSA

This step-by-step checklist will guide you through the process necessary to complete the Free Application for Federal Student AID (FAFSA) - the primary source of state and federal financial aid funding. Includes preparation information and links to necessary resources. Read The Article...

How and Why To Apply for Financial Aid

How and Why To Apply for Financial Aid

This article provides a general description of internal/institutional, external, and governmental financial aid funding opportunities, and the importance of recognizing and seizing such opportunities for funding possibilities. Several links are included. Read The Article...

What Is A Virtual Classroom?

What Is A Virtual Classroom?

Have you wondered how exactly you attend an online college course, submit your assignments, or participate in online class discussions? This article offers a brief explanation of how online classes are organized and their general benefits to students. Read The Article...

Beating Cheaters: Cheating in an Online Class

Beating Cheaters: Cheating in an Online Class

It's a common argument in opposition to the respect and reputation of an online education - it is easier to cheat in an online class. This article examines and exposes the myth by explaining the methods used in an online class to deter and eliminate cheating. Read The Article...

Common Myths about Online Education

Common Myths about Online Education

A brief list of some of the common arguments made by proponents of online education. This article discusses and dispells these myths while providing additional resources for students regarding their online degree program. Read The Article...

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Capella UniversityCapella UniversityAccreditation: Regional (NCACS)
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The History of Online Education

The History of Online Education

Since the beginnings of distance learning, when classes were broadcast via satellite television or completed through mailed assignments, this aspect of higher education has grown exponentially in its technologically sound delivery, respect, and immense popularity.

In the early 1990's, online college enrollments totaled less than 200,000 across the United States. By the end of 2005, the number of enrollments in distance education programs had reached nearly 3,000,000 college students. In this short span of time, technology advanced to an extent that interest and involvement burst into widespread acceptance. Advances in technology allowed delivery of more quality content, immediate assignment submission and response, and expanded access to even the most remote colleges, professors, and students.

Convenience and flexibility have consistently ranked as one of the top reasons students choose online education, and when distance education began to address these priorities, a more diverse group of students began to enroll in online classes and online degree programs. This diversity gives online students an additional perspective and college experience that many on-campus do not obtain, and that is certainly desirable in an increasingly diverse culture and world.

In the earlier years of online education, online classes were typically offered by schools focusly primarily on this mode of delivery. More recently, the majority of traditional colleges and universities have recognized and seized the opportunity to create and expand their own online class and online degree program offerings.

While decreasing the expenses of on-campus construction and operating costs, online classes have proven capable of providing these colleges and universities with a selection of more qualified and experienced professors who need not live locally. As a result, the Sloan Foundation reports that in 2008 approximately 82% of all 2 and 4 year post-secondary institutions in the United States offer online degree programs, or e-Learning programs. Virtually all of these same colleges and universities expect extreme growth in their online programs[1].

The following list presents some interesting statistics regarding the recent growth in popularity and enrollment of online education in the United States[2] [3]:

• Over 4.6 million students were taking at least one online course during the fall 2008 term; a 17 percent increase over the number reported the previous year.
• The 17% growth rate for online enrollments far exceeds the 1.2% growth of the overall higher education student population.
• More than one in four college and university students now take at least one course online.
• The economic impact has been greatest on demand for online courses, with 66% of institutions reporting increased demand for new courses and programs and 73% seeing increased demand for existing online courses and programs.
• Among faculty with online teaching or development experience a majority believe that the learning outcomes are as good as or better than face-to-face instruction.
• A large majority (69%) of academic leaders believe that student demand for online learning is still growing.
• Colleges and universities report increased demand for courses. The most interest is for online courses. 45% of schools say they see more demand for face-to-face classes while 73% report increased demand for their online classes.
• The 67% reported demand for online courses is outstripping the current supply

Sources of Information:

• Sloan Consortium. Online Nation: Five Years of Growth in Online Learning
• Sloan Consortium. Learning on Demand: Online Education in the US, 2009
• Sloan Consortium. Blending In: The Extent & Promise of Blended Education in the US

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