Arizona State University is just one of many major universities that have started to increase the number of online courses they offer. Within the next decade, ASU expects that 25% of their students will be exclusively taking virtual classes. ASU and other schools are keeping up with their learners’ desire to take online courses.
The Sloan Consortium, also known as Sloan-C, is an institutional and professional organization integrating online education into mainstream education. The consortium is committed to quality online education. The Arizona Republic reported, “According to an annual Sloan Survey of Online Learning at 2,500 colleges and universities, 29 percent of students took at least one course online in fall 2009, up from nearly 12 percent in fall 2003.”
In a recent webinar I created and delivered for Sloan-C, there was strong interest by educators to learn how to deliver effective online courses. There is no mistaking the popularity of online education. Even Bill Gates praised online learning in his 2010 Annual Letter stating, “A lot of people, including me, think this is the next place where the internet will surprise people in how it can improve things.” According to a recent survey by the Sloan Consortium, more than 5.6 million students took an online class last fall, which translates to about 30 percent of college students.
The days of thinking that online education is somehow inferior is changing. Arizona’s three main universities are all embracing online learning. ASU is ramping up their online program. University of Arizona (U of A) has nearly 30 degree programs exclusively available online; many of these programs are graduate-level. Northern Arizona University (NAU) has 63 exclusively online programs and anticipates a 10% growth increase per year.
Arizona universities are not the only major universities to get on board with online education. Some other very prominent universities that also offer online courses include:
If you or someone you know is considering taking an online class, it is important to understand the terminology, the process and the tricks to being successful as an independent learner. For help, check out: The Online Student’s User Manual: Everything You Need to Know to be a Successful Online Student.