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Study: Online Education Continues Its Meteoric Growth 2010

"Online college education is expanding—rapidly. More than 4.6 million college students were taking at least one online course at the start of the 2008-2009 school year. That's more than 1 in 4 college students, and it's a 17 percent increase from 2007." "For the past several years, all of the growth—90-plus percent—is coming from existing traditional schools that are growing their current offerings," says Jeff Seaman, one of the study's authors and codirector of the Babson Survey Research Group at Babson College.

Online Courses Lead For-Profit Learning Trend 7/1/98

By Mo Krochmal, TechWeb
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Of the 60 new distance-learning courses the University of British Columbia in Vancouver has added in the past three years, 50 are also offered on the Web. Online classes, part of the growing trend toward distance learning, are helping the 90-year-old institution redefine itself as a networked, virtual university and one of the leaders in using information technology to reach students outside its geographic boundaries. "It's a result of our management thinking strategically," said Anthony Bates, director of distance education and technology at UBC. Bates spoke at the Institute for Leadership in Distance Education, a three-day conference this week at Pennsylvania State University. Bates said UBC's online initiative was born after a budget freeze forced the university to find new ways to increase revenue. But UBC, with a student body some 33,000 strong, isn't alone. Peterson's, the college guide, lists more than 800 colleges and universities with distance-learning courses. Five years ago, there were fewer than 100. In many cases, they are correspondence courses or even delivered via satellite, but more often, it means using the Internet to teach students. For example, Duke University recently began offering an M.B.A. program on the Web. UBC offers classes through video-conferencing, on CD-ROM, the Internet, and of course, in its classrooms. It also sells its services to organizations that seek custom training, and intends to eventually turn a profit from these activities. That has yet to happen, although Bates praised the online courses as a way of "reorganizing the university for the 21st century." The school offers distance courses in the arts, agriculture, forestry, and law, and is preparing courses in dentistry and pharmacy. It has a distance-learning partnership with the Monterrey Institute of Technology, a private college with campuses throughout Mexico, and is looking to franchise its programs globally. In creating virtual courses, UBC saves money. "We were able to do an online course at half the cost of print," said Bates. In addition, the virtual courses let UBC get more mileage from its offerings, by disseminating them through varying media. Murray Goldberg, a computer science professor at the school, led the development of [43]Web-CT, a software tool that helps educators create Web-based courses. The software, which costs around $200 for a site license for 50 students, is now installed at 600 different institutions around the world. UBC's efforts are " very close" to the ideal virtual university, said Joan Calvert, coordinator of academic computing at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, Conn. "They have a big jump on us, they are online and now working internationally. The ramifications of this will transform the higher education model."

Professors Not Corporations Are the Biggest Competitors Against Universities for Market Share in the Distance Online College Education Marketplace

Professors turning entrepreneur and selling their courses in electronic and online formats is becoming a major challenge to the market segment sought by universities for creation of courses and degree programs to be sold on the internet to a worldwide clientelle. Professors are becoming aware of their course presentations as a program series that can be repetitively marketed by them over the internet which may become a major portion of their income.

Boola, Boola: E-Commerce Comes to the Quad Source Date: February 13, 2000
We always thought our new competition was going to be 'Microsoft University,"' the president of an elite Eastern university ruefully remarked to a visitor over dinner recently. "We were wrong. Our competition is our own faculty."
Welcome to the ivory tower in the age, where commerce and competition have set up shop.
Several years ago, educators and entrepreneurs began to see that millions of students and potential students might be reached, and tens of millions of dollars earned, using the Internet to provide a higher education. More than one-third of all colleges and universities in the United States already offer distance learning, as it is called; by 2002, four of every five are expected to do so.
Everyone, it seems, now recognizes that the 14 million or so students engaged in some form of higher education make up only a small part of a much larger market.
"Faculty are dreaming of returns that are probably multiples of their lifetime net worth," said Kim Clark, dean of the Harvard Business School. "They are doing things like saying, 'This technology allows someone who is used to teaching 100 students to teach a million students.' And they are running numbers and imagining, 'Gee, what if everyone paid $10 to listen to my lecture?"'
Academics and their academies are already squaring off over who owns the electronic rights to a professor's lectures and research.