Online Learning Sees Considerable Growth in Enrolment

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The internet has transformed the way people learn. People are taking advantage of the alternative of taking courses via the online classroom rather than going to the traditional “brick-and-mortar” classes. This runs the range of online high school courses, as well as college courses and programs for employee training and development.

Enrolment in K-12 Online Learning

According to The Fast Facts About Online Learning report from The International Association for K-12 Online Learning, for the school year 2011 – 2012, there were around 275,000 students that are taking up online courses full-time. An estimated 1,816,400 students are enrolled in an online K-12 school for the school year 2009 – 2010, with 74% comprising of high school students.  This is for enrolment in state-sponsored online schools, as well as private entities offering an online high school education such as The American Academy.

Some of the reasons for opting for online courses include:

–          Credit recovery (62%)

–          Dual enrolment (47%)

–          Advanced placement (29%)

Online schools offer students with various issues the opportunity to earn a high school diploma online. These issues may include cases of dropping out, students seeking advanced courses to prepare for college and students who don’t have access to a traditional education due to health or distance problems. Online school also enables students who are looking towards a specific career path (i.e. athletics, the arts or music) to still enjoy quality education.

Also, the continued growth of homeschooling households fuels the growth of virtual schools. A portion of the approximately 2 million homeschooled students in the country (as of 2010) are turning towards online schools as a way to earn school credits.

Online Learning for Colleges and Employee Development

According to a report by the Babson Survey Research Group, over 6.7 million students have taken up at least one online course offered by a university during the fall term of 2011. Schools have since responded to the growing demand for online college courses. Of the colleges and universities surveyed, schools offering fully online degree programs grew from 32.5% in 2002 to 62.4% in 2012.

Meanwhile, more and more companies are also offering employee development training via online learning technologies. According to the May 2013 issue of Elearning! Magazine, approximately 42% of global Fortune 500 Companies have offered online learning training to their employees.

Online Learning as a Feasible Option

The growth of online learning for students ranging from the K-12 level to employees seeking training show that it is a feasible and attractive option. With online learning, students have an increased level of control on the pace by which they learn, enable them to have access to lessons regardless of their location and provides an increased level of familiarity to various technological learning tools.

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