Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Online Education- Today's Correspondence Courses

It was the summer of '84 and I was looking to add 6 units to my undergrad degree. We had an Apple II computer at home but the Internet was about 10 years away. With no other options, I took the equivalent of today's online class. I participated in two correspondence courses from UC Berkeley. One class was fantastic- "The World of Mystery Fiction" with Elliot Gilbert. The other I've completely forgotten.

I had workbooks and textbooks for both and as the summer progressed I would read the book and complete the assignments and mail them to my instructors. I would wait a week or so to get the feedback and then move to the next section in the course. It was sooo slooowww.

Fast-forward to today. In our interconnected world, students like I was who are looking to add courses, and students who don't want to attend a brick-and-mortar school at all, are turning to the internet for classes.

 I recently participated in a webinar that discussed this trend and backed it up with data on what online students are looking for in a school. Below is a graphic with a summary of the findings.
  Online College Students 2013: Comprehensive Data on Demands and Preferences - Infographic
The Learning House, Inc.

Couple of thoughts: 
It appears that online programs are highly rated as valuable for both time and cost. I was also pleased to see that Theology was on the rise for graduate students since I'm working on an online MA for Tabor College.

If you're interested in finding out more, I'd encourage you to download both the 2012 and 2013 reports, they are definitely worth the time to read.

Or, one could always try to restart a trend and promote correspondence courses.