[Summary from: Online Learning Update, 2011]
As online college courses have become increasingly prevalent, the general public and college presidents offer different assessments of their educational value. Just three in 10 American adults (29 percent) say a course taken online provides an equal educational value to one taken in a classroom. By contrast, fully half of college presidents (51 percent) say online courses provide the same value.
These findings are from a pair of Pew Research Center surveys conducted in spring 2011. One is a telephone survey taken among a nationally representative sample of 2,142 adults ages 18 and older. The other is an online survey, done in association with the Chronicle of Higher Education, among the presidents of 1,055 colleges and universities nationwide.
More than three-quarters of the nation’s colleges and universities now offer online classes, according to the survey of college presidents, and about one in four college graduates (23 percent) have taken a course online, according to the general public survey. Among those who have graduated in the past decade, the figure rises to 46 percent. Adults who have taken a course online have a somewhat more positive view of the value of this learning format: 39 percent say a course taken online provides the same educational value as one taken in person, a view shared by only 27 percent of those who have not taken an online course.
Read on for more results from the Pew surveys.
Parker, Kim; Lenhart, Amanda; and Moore, Kathleen (2011). College presidents, public differ on value of online learning. Pew Research Center, 28 August 2011.