Online Education & Learning News brings you the latest online education news and research along with the tools to help you pick the perfect online college.
Employers, Community College Students Still Question Online Degree Credibility
Online Education Articles  >  Online Education News
By Rachel Wang   
the UMF/Flickr
Online Degree Credibility Questioned by Employers and Community College Students
Traditional degrees still win out over online degrees—at least in employers’ eyes.
A new study titled “Not Yet Sold: What Employers and Community College Students Think About Online Education” revealed that employers are still skeptical about online degree quality.
The report also revealed that community college students have concerns about online learning.
The September 2013 study was released by Public Agenda, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that focuses on finding solutions for key issues, including higher education, energy issues, healthcare and the national debt.

Trends in E-Learning for Community Colleges Online
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By Rachel Wang   
Growing Community Colleges Online See New Trends in E-Learning
Online education isn’t just expanding. It’s also getting better. 
Student enrollment is up at community colleges online, and the gap between distance learning and face-to-face student completion rates is closing, according to the latest findings from the Instructional Technology Council (ITC).
In an environment where most colleges are struggling with budget cuts and decreased funding, e-learning continues to shine as a new way to learn.
ITC, which represents nearly 400 institutions that offer distance education courses in the United States, Canada and around the world, surveys its members each year about online learning.
The most recent survey, “Trends in eLearning: Tracking the Impact of eLearning at Community Colleges,” notes that distance education enrollments grew by 6.52 percent from fall 2011 to fall 2012. This stands in contrast to overall student enrollment, which declined by 2.64 percent.

Gender, Ethnicity Impact Online Student Success
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By Rachel Wang   
UBC Library/Flickr
Gender, Ethnicity May Indicated Online Student Success
Do certain types of students have more trouble adapting to online learning? A new study indicates that gender and ethnicity may impact online student success.
Researchers at Columbia University’s Community College Research Center have uncovered evidence suggesting that male students, younger students, black students and students with lower grade point averages tend to struggle more in online classes than their peers.
Researchers Di Xu and Shanna Smith Jaggars explored a dataset containing nearly 500,000 courses taken by more than 40,000 community and technical college students in Washington State. Their findings are reported in “Adaptability to Online Learning: Differences Across Types of Students and Academic Subject Areas.”

New Study Shows Quality of Online Degrees and Cost Questioned
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By Rachel Wang   
Novartis AG/Flickr
Researchers Studied Public Perception of Quality of Online Degrees
Only 32 percent of Americans believe that online institutions offer a high-quality education, according to a new study.
The study by the Lumina Foundation and Gallup questioned 1,000 U.S. adults about higher education, including cost and perceived quality of online degrees.
The 2012 report, titled “America’s Call for Higher Education Redesign,” revealed that 10 percent of U.S. adults strongly agree that online colleges and universities offer a quality education, with another 22 percent agreeing. These results are similar to last year’s findings.
Of the respondents, 25 percent disagree or strongly disagree that online colleges and universities offer high-quality education. The majority, at 39 percent, was neutral on the topic.
A traditional college education received the strongest vote of confidence from the American public, with 29 percent strongly agreeing that brick-and-mortar institutes offer high-quality education. Another 47 percent agreed, with 20 percent neutral on the subject. 
Only four percent disagreed or strongly disagreed that traditional colleges and universities offer high-quality education.

MOOCs Growing in Popularity, Suggests Online Learning Survey
Online Education Articles  >  Online Education News
By Rachel Wang
If You Love Your Computer, You May Enjoy MOOCs
A new study by Babson Survey Research Group reveals that online learning is growing. This stands in contrast to overall enrollment in traditional colleges and universities, which fell (albeit less than .1 percent) for the first time in the survey’s 10-year history.
The study, titled “Changing Courses: Ten Years of Tracking Online Education in the United States,” examines online learning in the U.S.


Babson also surveyed institutional officials for their take on massive open online courses (MOOCs). This is the first time that MOOCs were included in the research study. 
Only 2.6 percent of higher education institutions currently offer a MOOC, with 10 percent planning to add them. The study found that the majority of schools—55 percent—remain undecided on whether to add MOOCs or not. Babson's research also found that institutions with existing online courses and programs make up the majority of schools planning to offer MOOCs.


Online Certificates - Cheaper, Faster, Better than a College Degree?
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By Vicky Phillips   

What’s faster, cheaper, and more affordable than a college degree?

Woman recieving her online certicate

Online Certificates Offer College Credentials Without the Hefty Price
(Seevic College/flickr)

A new higher education report by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce suggests that online certificates — often dismissed by colleges themselves — may be the new super-food in the higher education chain.

If you crave a fatter wallet, let go old-fashioned dreams of a college degree — earn an online certificate, instead, suggests the Georgetown researchers in their new higher education report, Certificates: Gateway to Gainful Employment and College Degrees.

The Georgetown report concluded that certificates, whether earned online or on campus, often outperform two-year and four-year degrees in terms of cash return. The average worker with a certificate saw 20 percent fatter paychecks than peers with only high school diplomas.


Faculty Fear Growth of e-Learning in Canada
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By Vicky Phillips   

The government of Ontario, Canada would like to convert at least 60% of all undergraduate post-secondary courses to an e-learning format.


That's a lot of courses.


The province's teachers, for their part, made it clear last week that they do not support the government's aggressive push toward online learning at the college level.


The results of a province-wide survey of professors, released last week by the Ontario Association of University Faculty Association (OAUFA), revealed that the vast majority -- 86% of Canadian faculty - believe that converting 60% of undergraduate courses to an online format would irreparably "harm the quality of university education."



Online CME Survey Reveals Physicians Fussy About Online Medical Education
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By Vicky Phillips   
Survey Reveals Doctors Needs with Medical Education Online

A recent survey of 971 physicians has revealed that doctors like medical education online, but only in so much as it meets their fussy specifications.

Physicians prefer online cme that is immediately relevant to patient outcomes and delivered after work hours (but before dinner). They also much prefer a presenter who does not have a nasally voice.

And oh yes, physicians also prefer to access cme online using their favored computing device. The majority of all physicians (76%) used laptops and desktops for Internet access. 45% owned iPads, while 52% used iphones. Only about 25% reported using smart phones that were not made by Apple.

The findings of the online cme physician survey, co-sponsored by a virtual conferencing group On24, reveal physicians to be much like the rest of us when it comes to sitting through continuing education online.

Below are some statistical highlights from the report.


14 Online Learning Challenges at Community Colleges
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By Vicky Phillips   

Ever wonder if the online learning team at your community college is anywhere near normal?  Is your distance learning program facing the same challenges as peer institutions across the nation?

The Instructional Technology Council (ITC), a non-profit organization that tracks online learning trends at community colleges across the nation, has come up with a loose list of 14 generalized indicators of what “normal” may look like deep inside two-year colleges when it comes to the impact of distance learning. This loose list is based on a survey of 143 accredited institutions that responded to ITC’s annual distance learning trends survey, published March 2012.


UC Berkeley Public Health School Launches Online MPH
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By Jess Wisloski   
Online Masters Degree Program UC Berkeley School of Public Health OnlineThe University of California Berkeley announced last week it will launch its first online degree—an online master's in public health (MPH)—in the spring 2012 semester. 

Responding to a growing need for professionals in the public health sector, UC Berkeley says it is opening an online master's in public health that will require 85 percent of coursework to be completed online. The program will bolster learning with three on-campus sessions totaling 15 days.
Read more about the online degree program at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health

Online Group Work and its Role in Student Learning
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By Jess Wisloski   
Does learning in groups or online collaborative learning actually benefit students in online courses? Not really, suggests an article in the Journal of Online Learning and Teaching (JOLT). The good news is, it doesn’t  harm student learning, either. 

“Learning Outcomes Associated with Group Assignments,” a paper published in the Fall 2011 issue of JOLT by three professors at the University of Missouri/Kansas City, summarizes the findings from a nursing course, in which of the 54 eligible study participants, 57 percent completed the study of group projects. 

Read more about online group work

Government Finds Cheating, Misconduct at For-Profit Online Colleges
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By Jess Wisloski   
Ever cheated on a test for an online class, or given free pass to a student who you know may have cheated? Last week the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a perhaps not-so-shocking report about shady online class practices at the five largest for-profit colleges and ten other online colleges. The practices uncovered in the report might make any self-respecting teacher wince.

Or, maybe not. Eight of the 15 for-profit schools that were studied followed college policies when it came to academic dishonesty and grading standards, but seven of the schools acted in a less than forthright manner, with one or more teachers failing to take disciplinary action against students who were not present for live classes, or who turned in bogus exam responses.
Does your college have good policies in place to deal with plagiarism and cheating? Have you as an instructor ever been asked to look the other way? Discuss with others in our forums.

Additionally, and perhaps a worrisome indicator for the federal government, which handed out $32 billion in grants and loans through student aid programs in 2009-2010 to for-profit schools, these schools did not consistently follow exit counseling guidelines for students who left school mid-term.
Read more about cheating and misconduct at online for-profit colleges

Online Education Study: As Enrollment Rises, Institutions see Online Education as a ‘Critical Part’ of Growth
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By Jess Wisloski   
Online education continues to rise, with roughly 6.1 million college students having taken an online course in the fall semester of 2010, according to a report by the Babson Survey Research Group, (formerly the Sloan Online Survey), which was released earlier this month. Institutions of higher learning increasingly embrace online education, with 65.5 percent of chief academic officers now calling online education “critical” to their institution’s long-term strategy, an opinion that’s risen more than 15 percent over eight years. Sixty-seven percent believe academic outcomes from online classes are equivalent to those in face-to-face learning, but still, one-third of academic leaders think online classes are inferior. 
Read more about the 2011 survey on online education

Online Courses Prep Kids for a Veterinary Assistant Career
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A unique online course project at Texas A & M University (TAMU) has provided more than 5,000 rural schoolkids in Texas with a peek into a possible future career as a veterinarian assistant.

The online courses featured in “Preparatory Training for the Veterinary Assistant,” were developed by Dr. Floron "Buddy" Faries, a Texas AgriLife Extension veterinarian, to meet the demand in Texas for high school training online for veterinary assistants.

Read more about online courses for veterinary assistant preparation

Boise State University College of Education Offers New Online Education Doctorate
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Boise State Now Offers an Online Doctorate in Educational Technology for Teachers

Boise State University's College of Education first offered an online master's in educational technology for educators and trainers more than a decade ago. This week, the research university announced it will expand its online graduate school of education offerings to include a new online doctoral program, an EdD in educational technology. 


The Idaho State Board of Education approved the new distance doctoral degree last week after reviewing the university's mission statement for the new EdD program. Boise hopes the new program will encourage greater research and application development in the emerging area of educational technology.


The doctor of education in educational technology (EdD) program was developed at Boise State University in the summer and fall of 2011. The new degree program is built on the foundation of a highly successful online master's degree program with a research thesis option that was launched at Boise more than a decade ago.

Read more about Boise State's New Online Education Doctorate

Indiana University School of Education Launches First Online Doctorate
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Mike Saechang/Flickr
IEarning One of IU's First Online Doctorate May Land You in a Lecture Hall of Your Own

The Indiana University School of Education has received approval to offer a new online doctor of education degree (EdD) in instructional systems technology (IST) entirely through distance learning. The new program is the first online doctorate degree to be offered by Indiana University.

While all courses will be taught online, doctoral students will be required to visit the Bloomington, Ind. campus at least three times during their studies. Both the qualifying exam and oral dissertation defense will occur on campus.

Read more about Indiana University's first online PhD program

Free Online Masters for Physical Education Teachers
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UBC Library/Flickr
Free Online Masters for Physical Education Teachers
A federal grant for $1.18 million is allowing Western Michigan University, located in Kalamazoo, Mich., to offer a first of its kind free online master's degree for physical education teachers.

The degree, a 
master of arts in physical education with an emphasis in special (adapted) physical education, is being offered in a hybrid format. Online courses are being taught by Western Michigan University's Graduate School of Human Performance and Health Education. Students supplement online courses by attending seminars on campus as needed.

This unique hybrid online master's in special education degree for teachers is state approved in adapted physical education. The degree combines online theory courses with classroom labs in adaptive teaching techniques.
Read more about free masters degrees for physical ed teachers

Community College Leaders Speak Out on Online Education
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Western Governor's University has sponsored the publication of a new report on the challenges facing America's community colleges.  In the free report, entitled "Eight Questions for Eleven Community College Leaders: An Exploration of Community College Issues, Trends & Strategies" thought leaders voice their opinions on the use of educational technology as well as online, blended and hybrid learning at public institutions across the country.

In the report, Lee Lambert, president of Shoreline Community College is quoted as saying:

"Today, I don't think any college or university has an option not to have a virtual presence. So the question is , what form does that take, and who drives that in terms of its full integration into a face-to-face campus ...

Two benefits of online learning -- cost reduction and the ability to use educational technology to create and measure more standardized learning outcomes -- are highlighted in the report. 
Read more about community colleges and online education

Online Students Favor Course Guides Who Look Like Them
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High drop-out rates plague online courses.

As a result, researchers are constantly looking for ways to make online education more personal and engaging.

Online training companies are experimenting with "virtual agents." These agents appear as online helper images on course screens. Sometimes called mentors, these agents offer encouragement and feedback as students move through online courses.

Computerized mentors essentially serve as motivational agents. They emulate old school teachers whose words of encouragement have reliably helped struggling students persist and achieve in the classroom environment for centuries.


Read more about online course guides and distance learning mentors

75% of College Presidents at Public Universities Cite Online Learning as #1 Solution to Budget Crisis
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What's keeping college presidents awake at night?

The same thing that's bothering most Americans apparently—money, or the lack thereof.

Inside Higher Education, an online news agency, surveyed 956 head college honchos ranging from CEOs to Presidents in an effort to take the pulse of a higher education system under assault on issues of affordability and accountability. Online learning came up as the best method to cut university cost.
Read more about online learning and solutions to university budget issues


Study Suggests Online Adjunct Faculty Feel Isolated, Unheard
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Increasingly, online degree programs are using adjunct faculty to teach core and elective courses. 

But how do adjuncts themselves feel about teaching online?  

Pay is often low—too low perhaps? And professional training and advancement opportunities are often non-existent.
Read more about the online adjunct faculty study

76-year-old Non-Traditional College Student Earning Online Masters
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Bernard "Bernie" Clarfield is 76 years old, and he's a college student. Yes, you read that right. A 76-year-old college kid.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, more than 70% of today's college kids are not "kids" at all, but students over the age of 24. Non-traditional and older students have long turned to online learning to solve access issues and to juggle their work and career.

Even so, Clarfield is a rarity. He is an excellent example of that old adage, "It is never too late to learn." Also, in Clarfield's case, it is never too late to learn how to master new educational technologies. The senior citizen is majoring in distance learning technologies.
Learn more aout the 76-year-old's online masters degree story

Survey of Community College Students Reveal 61% Have Taken Online Courses
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The Pearson Foundation undertook a survey of 1,434 community college students ages 18-59 between September 27 and November 4, 2010. The foundation hoped to identify the factors that are both blocking student success and contributing to their success at the community college level.Community College Students Taking Online Courses

Survey Results:

61% of students reported taking online courses

Students who are highest risk for dropping out – those working full-time, older, married, and/or with children – were the most likely to turn to online courses as a way to balance time constraints

Read full survey about online courses at community college

University Cost Survey Reveals Most Affordable Online Degree Programs
Online Education Articles  >  Online Education News Best Affordable Online Bachelors in Healthcare DegreesGet Educated's online university rankings team discovered that the cost of an online bachelors healthcare degree can vary from under $25,000 to over $86,000.

Cost-conscious students pursuing distance education should be extremely cautious when choosing an online school. In the long run, this can save thousands of dollars and avoid excessive student debt.

To help consumers make an informed decision based on factors that matter the most—cost and credibility— reveals a list of the "Top Best Buys" nationwide for regionally accredited online bachelors and masters degree programs. 

Read more about the most affordable online bachelors and masters degree programs

University of Wisconsin Showcases Online Education from 26 Campuses
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The University of Wisconsin System has launched a new online education portal called eCampus,, to showcase information about online degree programs and non-degree continuing education programs offered by the 26 campuses of the UW System. 

According to Wisconsin distance learning officials, only one in four adults in Wisconsin has successfully earned a four-year college degree. This rate is slightly below the national average. To boost Wisconsin’s economy, and improve employment opportunities, the UW System is beefing up access to online continuing education and degree programs. 

The publicly-funded Wisconsin System hopes to increase the number of UW degrees by 30 percent.  Such an increase would mean about 80,000 more college graduates in the state labor pool in the next 15 years.

Read more about the new online eCampus at University of Wisconsin


Education Trust Reports as Few as Five Percent of Online Bachelor Degree Students Graduate from University of Phoenix
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Education Trust, a non-profit research group that analyzes statistics on the cost and return of American higher education programs, has issued an eye-opening report on how the largest for-profit universities in America compare to their public and private non-profit peers. 

Some of the largest online university systems in the USA are cited unfavorably in the Education Trust’s report, including America’s largest enroller of online students: The University of Phoenix Online.

The report faults the University of Phoenix for its graduation rate of only 5% for online bachelor degree students who enroll through the online programs of this university system. The national graduate rate average among the ten largest for profit bachelor degree colleges is about 20%. 
More about low graduation rates of for-profit online bachelor degree colleges

Online Learning on Steroids - Growth Statistics Skyrocketing
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By Consumer Reporting Team   


A special online education statistics infographic from the Chronicle of Higher Education (November 2011) reveals that online learning continues to grow.

Er, wait, the tern "grow" may be an understatement. Gobbling steroids with two-fisted gusto may be more like it.

In the last decade, online-only course enrollments in higher education climbed from .78 million to a possible 3.97 million in 2014 (projections from Eduventures).

Moreover, community college surveys cited by the special report indicate that many high education insiders report that their institutions remain largely unable to meet swelling student demand for online courses.

Read more about the high growth of online distance learning

For-Profit Westwood Online Sued By Former Students
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Westwood Online class action lawsuit for profit college scamWestwood Online told teen-aged Amanda Krol in 2004 that if she earned an online Westwood bachelors degree, she could expect to make over $100,000 per year, Krol alleges in a new lawsuit against the for profit college, according to the Denver Post.
Instead, Krol says in her lawsuit, she spent $86,000 on an online criminal justice degree and has yet to find a job; she says Westwood did not live up to pre-enrollment promises to help her find employment, the Post reports.
Learn More About Westwood Online Class Action Lawsuit

College Students in Short Online Course Perform Better than in Semester-Long Distance Class
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Short Online Course Summer intensive Student

A new study comparing short online courses with traditional, semester-long online classesfinds college students in shorter classes, also known asaccelerated online classes, perform much better academically. 

However, the students are dissatisfied with the amount of teacher contact they receive.

Study authors Janet Ferguson of Canisius College and Amy DeFelice of City University of New York compared a group of graduate students taking a five-week online summer intensive course with those taking the same online class for a full semester. Both the short online course and the longer course were taught by the same instructor.

The study is believed to be the first comparing shorter versus longer online course formats. Among its findings:

Read more about short online courses vs. semester-long distance classes

For Profit Online Colleges Could Be Limited By Proposed New Federal Student Loan Rules
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For Profit Online College Student Loan Aid Possibly To Be Cut Following Government Investigation
The U.S. Dept. of Education is considering stricter requirements covering federal student loans in the wake of an investigation into deceptive marketing practices by for-profit online colleges and on-ground schools. 

The rules changes could put a dent into the profitability of the for-profit college industry, which received $26.5 billion in guaranteed federal student loans in 2009. 
Learn more about government action in the wake of the GAO report into for profit colleges

Video Technology in Online Classes Desired By 60 Percent – Web Poll
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Video technology in online classes

Video technology in online classes is favored by almost two-thirds of those responding to a recent web poll.

When asked “Which technology would you like in online classes?” a third—34.2 percent—picked video podcasts. This compares with just 10 percent who wanted audio-only podcasts.

Another 25 percent of those who answered the poll chose videoconferencing, meaning that overall, video technology was preferred by 60 percent.
See more poll results and study findings about the value of video technology in online classes

For Profit Online Colleges Named in Government Investigation of Education Fraud, Deceptive Marketing
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By Consumer Reporting Team   
Government Accountability Office Investigation of For Profit, Online CollegesThree primarily online colleges—the University of Phoenix, Kaplan University, and Argosy University—were among 15 for-profit colleges targeted by an undercover government investigation that uncovered possible education fraud and deceptive marketing practices.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) probed both online colleges and on-ground for-profit colleges from May 2010 through July 2010, using “secret shoppers” to pose as prospective applicants. Congress is investigating for-profit colleges because they receive about one-fourth of federal education loans ($20 billion in 2009).

The GAO findings were revealed in Senate hearings in early August. 

Among the findings:

Findings of the GAO report on for-profit college recruiting and marketing tactics

Virtual Online Learning Rated Key By College IT Staff, Not Faculty
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Online College Student

A new educational technology study shows virtual online learning is rated as a key part of higher education by college information technology staff—but not by faculty.

The 21st Century Campus Report from CDW Government LLC shows college faculty lag far behind IT staff in rating online education technology on campus. Also, poor faculty understanding of technology in higher education is the top concern among students surveyed. 

The survey of 1,000 students, faculty, and IT professionals found:
Findings of the 21st Century Campus report on educational technologies in higher education

Free Distance Education Courses and Online Course Creation Tools From
Online Education Articles  >  Online Education News Free Distance Education Courses

A new website is offering free distance education courses, plus tools for users to create and sell online courses is an open courseware site that lets users take more than 200 non-credit college courses free online from about 10 universities, including MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Harvard University, Yale and others.
Read more about's free online distance education courses and online course tools

New Online Bachelors Degree Program Considered for University of California
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A new online bachelors degree soon may be offered by the University of CaUniversity of California logoliforniaBerkeley. The university’s Board of Regents has informally endorsed a plan to bring the school its first online undergraduate degree program.

The school already awards an online masters degree in engineering, while its UC extension campuses offer more than 1,000 online classes. Other state universities, such as the University of Southern California and California State University, provide a variety of distance masters degrees.

However, this would be the first “highly selective” online bachelors degree offered by a top-ranked, prestigious research university, says Christopher Edley Jr., the University of California Berkeley law school dean who is leading the movement for the online undergraduate degree.


More information about University of California's proposed new online bachelors degree program

Free Online Classes to Expand With Gates Foundation Grants
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Student taking free online classes

You may soon have more access to free online classes through a new program supported byBill and Melinda Gates Foundation grants.

The new “Next Gen Learning Challenges” initiative aims to increase the level of college education among Americans, using technology to improve college readiness and completion, especially among low-income young adults. This is needed because 64 percent of jobs by 2018 will require college degrees—yet only about 30 percent of Americans have college degrees.

Learn more about grants for free online classes and open courseware through Gates Foundation grants

Adult Learners Going Back to School Online Outperform Younger Students
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Older adult learner going to school onlineAdult learners going back to school online can be as successful as younger students — or even more so — if they receive training in online educational technology, according to a new study in the Journal of Online Learning and Teaching.

Researchers at the University of Kansas compared three age groups of teachers enrolled in an online graduate course in special education. One segment of the class consisted of adult learners, ages 50 to 65, who were classified as “late-career” adults. The class also included early-career students (ages 21 to 35) and mid-career adults (ages 36 to 49).

Read more about the success of adult learners over 50 in online classes

Nontraditional Student Drop-out Rate Improved by Distance Learning?
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Nontraditional distance learning student

Distance learning classes are likely to improve the drop out rate for nontraditional students and physically disabled students in college, says a new study.

Researchers at Rowan University in Glassboro, NJ, found in a meta-analysis that some undergraduate students preferred face-to-face courses, but that others preferred distance learning classes—and were more satisfied with them. Those students who liked online learning shared some common characteristics—traits that also are more prevalent among students who have higher drop out rates:

Learn more about the new online education research into college drop out rates and distance learning

Executive Online MBA Program in Ghana Needs Better Instructor Feedback, Say Distance Learning Students
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Nearly 7Online executive MBA program student00 distance learning students in an executive online MBA program at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana were surveyed recently about their perceptions of the e-learning degree program.

The graduate business students said they liked online learning because it allowed them to combine work and study. Most of the online students were older than 30, married, male, and working. They reported that the online executive masters in business administration program was a better fit with their lifestyles.
Executive online MBA program students in Ghana also had complaints...

More Student Teacher Interaction For Online College Students May Hurt, Not Help
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Increased student teacher interaction may discourage online college students

The more student teacher interaction that occurs in university courses online, the more likely it is that distance learners will drop out of class, according to a surprising new online education study.
Learn more about new online education study of college student teacher interaction

Wal-Mart Offers Employee Tuition Discount for Online College Degrees from American Public University
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Walmart Associate Online Degree Program American Public University

Wal-Mart Stores is offering online college degrees at a 15 percent discount to its employees through an agreement with American American Public University online college degreesPublic University, a for-profit accredited online university.

In total, the retail giant expects to pay $50 million over the next three years for tuition assistance to eligible employees. 

American Public University, which also operates American Military University, has been named a Best Buy by for its relatively low-cost accredited online degrees. 
Learn more about Walmart's online college degree program for employees

Western Governors University Forms Partnership With Indiana Offering Online Degree Programs To Residents
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Western Governors University is partnering with the state of Indiana to form a new online univWestern Governors University online degree programsersity branch that will allow Indiana residents to use state grants and scholarships to pay for WGU online degree programs.

WGU Indiana is expected to help "thousands of adult Hoosiers attain the college degrees they've wanted and needed, on a schedule they can manage, at a cost they can afford," said Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels.

Western Governors University is a frequent Best Buy award recipient for its affordable, accredited online degrees. The nonprofit school offers about 50 distance bachelors and masters degrees in business, teacher education, information technology, and healthcare. Average cost: about $6,000 annually.

Read more about Western Governors University online university branch in Indiana

80 Percent of College Faculty Now Using Online Social Media
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Online Instructors using social media for learning in college lesson plans

Four out of five college instructors use social media such as Facebook, blogs and Twitter, according to a new survey by the Babson Survey Research Group in collaboration with New Marketing Labs and Pearson Learning Solutions.

Half of the 1,000 college faculty participating in the survey say they are using social media in the classroom
.  Podcasts, blogs, and wikis are the primary digital media used in the college lesson plans.

The social media benefits for online college faculty are greater than for face-to-face teachers because their only student interaction happens through the web. Younger faculty are only slightly more likely to use social media in the classroom than older faculty (those who have been teaching at least 20 years).
Read more findings from the survey of social media use in higher education

Community College Online Education Courses Up 22 Percent
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U.SNon-traditional students sput online education growth. community colleges report distance courses have increased by 22 percent from fall 2007 to fall 2008, according to a distance learning survey recently released by the Instructional Technology Council (ITC).

This community college online education growth rate compares to just two percent for traditional courses—and shows that college distance courses popularity continues to grow rapidly (the ITC found that from 2006 to 2007, distance education growth was 11 percent). 

For most community colleges, distance education students may represent the only enrollment growth area, the study found.

More results from the 2009 ITC survey of 226 community colleges:
Additional findings from the International Technology Council Distance Education Survey

Private Online College Marketing Monopolizes With 8x More Funding
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Private online college enrollment marketing is more prevalent than public online colleges
A new survey of 50 college distance learning programs finds that private online colleges spend significantly more on online college marketing than public schools; on average spending more than eight times as much on distance education marketing.

Because of their online college enrollment marketing allocations you are more likely to get brochures and catalogues from private colleges or see their ads on Google, for instance.

The study by the Primary Research Group also reveals:

* More than 55 percent of programs said the economic slowdown has led to higher enrollment;
Learn more of the distance education study's findings and how to view the whole report.

Half of All Medical Continuing Education Will Be Online By 2016
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Learn more about physicians using online education for CME

New Study Shows United States Distance Learning Up 17 Percent
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A new study of United States distance learning finds that more students than Sloan report found the advantages of e learning to be significant in the eyes of employersever are taking college and university courses on line —a 17 percent jump from 2007 to 2008.

Learning on Demand: Online Education in the United States, 2009 is the seventh annual survey of online learning development produced by the Sloan Consortium. The study is based on responses from more than 2,500 colleges and universities.

Some key findings:

• In the fall of 2008, more than 4.6 million students took at least one online distance course—a 17 percent increase over the previous year.
Check out more findings about online education from Sloan's new report

University of Phoenix Lawsuit Settles For a Record 78.5 Million
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The University of Phoenix lawsuit filied six years ago by two ex-admissions staffers has been settled for $78.5 million—in what lawyers say is one of the largest pay for performance compensation settlements ever reached.

The University of Phoenix university's parent company, The Apollo Group, agreed to pay $67.5 million to the federal government for the UOP fraud and $11 million in attorney's fees and costs for the plaintiffs. In doing so, The Apollo Group did not admit any wrongdoing for the bonus compensation, and executives for the University of Phoenix university said they did not expect any prosecution from the Department of Education in addition to the University of Phoenix lawsuit charges.
Read more about the University of Phoenix settlement

Admissions Lawsuit University of Phoenix Faces May Cost 80 Million
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By GetEducated Consumer Reporting Team   
Read more about University of Phoenix's potential lawsuit settlement

Distance and Hybrid Higher Education Superior to Traditional Learning
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Is distance higher education as effective as traditional learning at the college level?  

The United States Department of Education conducted an online learning study undertaken from 1996 to 2008 that addressed this topic and concluded the following: 

1) Distance higher education is more effective and than traditional face-to-face learning; 

2) Distance higher education combined with some traditional learning (blended or hybrid learning) is the most effective; 

3) Face-to-face learning alone is the least effective method among the three types studied.

Check out GetEducated's exclusive video 'Is an Online Degree Credible in Your Employer's Eyes?' for the                             
3 factors most important in finding credible, quality online education.

Learn more about Dept of Education report, download a copy, and see related resources

90 Percent View College Affordability As Crucial For Distance Learners
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How important is college affordability when selecting an online school?
According to our most recent web poll, more than 90 percent of respondents say college affordability is “extremely” or “very” important in selecting the best online college. Less than 3 percent reported that money “doesn’t matter.”

The complete results:
Read more results and analysis of's College Affordability Poll

World Online College Opens Offering Free Online University Courses
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The world's first free university online? 

An Israeli entrepreneur announced in January that he plans to start the University of the People, which he says will use "open-source" courseware (free educational content, available on the Internet) and be available to English-speaking students across the globe.

Shai Reshef says he would charge small fees per course ($15 to $50) and per exam ($10 to $100) at the world online college. People from poor countries would pay less.

Read more about the proposed global online university

Non Traditional Students, Women Excel at Online Classes
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By GetEducated Consumer Reporting Team   

A new study may finally put to rest the long debate over whether online classes are as good as traditional residential learning. Research by Rowan University found that the key to completing a degree program depends on the type of student rather than the educational delivery method.

In the 2010 study the New Jersey based university 
measured student retention, which refers to whether a student who begins a course or a degree program completes that course or degree program.  The study revealed that certain types of student – the non-traditional, older, working mom and single parents who work full-time – stand a better chance of completing online classes than completing residential classes.

Real-life examples abound. Cecilia Parmer chose to pursue an online masters in Library and Information Science from San Jose State University after considering campus alternatives.


Read more: Non traditional students find online classes are best for them

Campus Residency May Improve Online Student Retention and Satisfaction
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When Maurice Rico, a senior process engineer in El Paso, TX, enrolled in Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business online degree program, a top ranked distance learning MBA, he wasn’t sure he had picked the best online school—until he participated in a mandatory, one-week online residency before classes began.

Rico, 40, flew from Texas to Indiana for the one-week online residency, paying airfare out of his own pocket (the school paid for housing and meals for the campus residency). The “very intense” week of coursework, case studies, and networking allowed him to meet his teachers and fellow online students.

Rico now says the online campus residency requirement confirmed that the Kelley Direct distance degree program was the right online MBA program for him. “It made me feel a lot better about how well-structured and solid it was,” Rico says.

More about student retention for online degree programs

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Published originally by wcet LEARN.


Maybe I’m just getting cranky, but I’m increasingly irritated by attacks on online learning, especially those based on badly designed research, small sample sizes, or those using data from un-cited studies.  “Why Are So Many Students Still Failing Online?” was the provocative headline of a recent Chronicle of Higher Education article.


Boy reading newspaper | Online student success | Course retention rates

“Looks like another day of ‘doom and gloom’”

Now to be fair, the article itself, aside from postulating that the only reason that institutions offer online courses is that they are the “proverbial cash cow,” was not completely unreasonable.  Although the author is clearly not a fan of online learning, most of us would at least agree with his point that learning online requires certain skills.  But why the Chronicle devoted an entire article to something we have known for years while highlighting his solution of some sort of pre-test for students before enrolling, is beyond me.


This isn’t news.

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Editor’s Note: In the world of online education, school accountability can be tough to find. Without a national data set, or any requirements by the government for schools to report success rates, there is no source for reliable, consistent data on online colleges.

At Get Educated, we’re big fans of the efforts by independent educational groups that offer free, honest evaluations of online universities. is a non-profit devoted to helping you learn about learning outcomes in online universities and degree programs.

From the project director, Cali Morrison:

Man looking over lake with binoculars | Find online school

Looking for real hard student data from different online colleges? Search no further!


As an adult, the concept of returning to or starting college can be a daunting one.

How do you know what institution to choose? What program of study will help you gain the knowledge and skills to pursue the career path you’re interested in? How can you find the best online university?

In a web full of marketing messages and websites whose only mission is to redirect you to high-paying clients’ schools, how do you find information you can trust?

Visit Our site came out of a collaborative of regionally accredited, adult-serving institutions that wanted to improve access to information on distance learning for adult learners. ?Our site provides data, not marketing fluff, for you to evaluate programs and institutions.

We don’t provide rankings – we want to leave the decisions on what elements are most important to you up to you when choosing an online school.

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If you’re reading this post, there’s a good chance you are interested in online learning, or are already involved in an online degree program that requires educational technology of some kind.

There’s also a good chance that, when you were in 5th grade, a language-arts class on the computer would have sounded ridiculous to your sensible 9-year-old brain.


“Do you remember being in elementary school and opening a book to do your research for a class activity? Well now students, especially fifth graders, are required to use technology to research their selected topics.”

1907 classroom

Online learning is even becoming a part of “traditional” classrooms.

(Bion Whitehouse/flickr)



It’s not some excerpt from a futuristic novel – this is the introduction to a plea by a public-school teacher in Los Angeles.

Ms. Acuna, who posted a request for two laptops on, said the newest language arts requirements in her curriculum make the internet a mandatory component of their learning.

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Georgia Tech Offers MOOCs | Geeks Working SignEvanLovely/Flickr

I recently complained that the MOOC party animals (aka: Udacity, Coursera and Udemy) would not be the ones to help drive down the cost of a college degree.


Turns out I was wrong about that.




Georgia Tech, in partnership with Udacity, wants to offer a massive open online course-based online computer science master’s to 10,000 tech students. AT&T is underwriting the massive online degree experiment in hopes of finding more affordable ways to increase the national brain pool of computer scientists.


Estimated price of the massive online computer science degree: $7,000.


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For-Profit Colleges and the Awkward Age of Deeply Discounted Online Degrees

For-Profit Colleges Offer Discounted Online Degrees on Salejcolman/Flickr

Why pay $70,000 for a business degree from the University of Phoenix Online when you can get the same degree delivered to your desktop for only $17,000 from the University of Wyoming online?


Non-profit colleges are offering online degrees in escalating numbers. And non-profit colleges cost a lot less than their for-profit peers. (Check out my data tables on affordable online degrees for real comparative cost information.)


Wall Street analysts have begun referring to the online education sector as “overweight.” Too many colleges, offering too much product. Worse still, most online colleges look identical to students.


Too much undifferentiated product heralds price competition.


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Faculty Harbor Negative Attitudes Toward MOOCskatiew/Flickr

Skepticism about massive open online courses reigns supreme in higher education, according to the latest findings about faculty attitudes toward online learning.


These massive open courses, more popularly known as MOOCs, are the bright new stars in the education world.


But research from Inside Higher Ed’s 2013 Survey of Faculty Attitudes on Technology indicates America’s educators aren’t so keen on MOOCs.


The Inside Higher Ed survey sought to understand how faculty members and educational technology leaders use online learning and new technologies, such as MOOCs and learning management systems, in delivering course content.


Their findings revealed skepticism about the value of these courses, even if hosted by a university.


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