Online enrollments in the USA grow 10% in 2011; OERs becoming accepted

Tony Bates, e-learning, distance education resources, Nov 11, 2011
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Tony Bates follows up "the latest in the series of surveys formerly known as the Sloan-C survey, but now jointly supported by Pearson, Inside Higher Education, Sloan, and Kaplan University. It is based on responses from over 2,500 institutions (a response rate of 55%)." The main outcome seems to be a slow-down in the growth on online enrollments. Paul Stacey suggests "new regulations have had a chilling effect on online learning in the US. Huge effort is being diverted from online learning innovation to red-tape compliance." And, he adds, the regulations seem based in a distrust of online and distance education. And while, as Bates says, ", this of course is nothing new," he also adds that ", at some point market saturation, and more opportunities in hybrid courses, are bound to kick in and slow down the growth of fully online or distance education to a relatively steady state." Until, of course, prices begin to decline.
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