What Does Research Say About Online Learning?

Online Learning Studies and Statistics

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Distance learning has made a major impact in the world of education. Online education statistics and studies show that online learning is an effective and reputable way to earn a college degree.
Want to know more? Here are some highlights from online learning research reports.

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Administrators Are More Likely to Value Online Education Than Faculty

Your college's dean and department chair may be completely sold on the idea of online learning, while your individual instructors may be less so. A 2014 study reported: "The proportion of chief academic leaders reporting online learning is critical to their long-term strategy reached a new high of 70.8 percent. At the same time, only 28 percent of academic leaders say that their faculty accepts the 'value and legitimacy of online education.'”

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Students Involved in Online Learning Outperform Their Peers

According to a 2009 meta-study from the Department of Education: “Students who took all or part of their class online performed better, on average, than those taking the same course through traditional face-to-face instruction.” Students who mix online learning with traditional coursework (i.e. blended learning) do even better.

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Millions of Students Are Participating in Online Learning

According to federal data, 5,257,379 million students took one or more online class in 2014. That number continues to grow every year.

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Most Reputable Colleges Offer Online Learning

The National Center for Educational Statistics found that two-thirds of Title IV, degree-granting post secondary schools offered some form of online learning. Title IV schools are properly accredited institutions permitted to participate in federal financial aid programs.

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Public Colleges Report a Greater Commitment to Online Learning

Public schools are more likely to identify online learning as an essential part of their long-term strategy, according to the Sloan Consortium. Their online learning courses are also more likely to represent a greater number of disciplines.