What is the Online Report Card – Tracking Online Education in the United States?

The Online Report Card – Tracking Online Education in the United States is a report that is a combined effort of the Online Learning Consortium, Babson Survey Research Group and other organizations. This study shows the feelings that students have about online classes and the effectiveness of those classes. As the number of students enrolled in online programs increases, it’s important that educators keep track of those students and ensure that they develop the same skills they would in traditional classroom settings.

What is the Online Report Card?

This survey serves as a report card that tracks the feelings and thoughts currently enrolled students have about these programs. In the same way that your own report card shows you the grades that you received in each of your classes, this report card shows how students feel about all aspects of online learning. It looks at classes offered at both the graduate and undergrad levels, the professors teaching those classes and the schools that offer online learning options.

Creating the Report

The Babson Survey Research Group conducted the research into online learning necessary for this report card. It sent surveys to hundreds of students enrolled in online programs and to some of the educators teaching classes in those programs. Some questions asked respondents to answer simple yes or no questions, but others asked them to express their opinions on a set scale. The survey asked how they felt about online programs in comparison to hybrid or traditional programs, whether students thought online classes were beneficial to them and what educators thought the role was of online learning in the future of education.

What the Report Found

The Online Report Card – Tracking Online Education in the United States found that 28% of students now take at least one class online and that more students now enroll in online only programs than ever before. It also discovered that public colleges have more online students enrolled than private colleges did. One of the more surprising finds was that a smaller number of respondents felt that online learning was important to the success of colleges than in the last year. According to this report, less than 30% of educators now feel like their colleges and schools place a high level of importance on online learning.

Future Implications

This report, which goes out every year, is important because it looks at how online learning will impact the education field in the coming years. It allows students to express their thoughts about why they like taking classes online and how those courses can benefit them. The report also offer an inside look about how educators feel. Online learning now requires that professors have strong technology skills and that they can use different types of computer software. As the report found that more students take these classes, it may signal a change in the type of educators needed at the college level.

Public colleges, private universities, community colleges and even vocational schools now offer online programs for students. In the hopes of identifying how others feel about these programs, including both students and teachers, the Babson Survey Research Group puts out a new report every year. The Online Report Card – Tracking Online Education in the United States shows how others feel about these programs and how their opinions changed from year to year.

See also: Top 10 Online Education Degree Programs