The importance colleges and universities ascribe to online course offerings varies. According to the 2008 Sloan Survey of Online Learning, both public universities and two-year colleges agreed that online courses were “critical” to their long-term strategies. Baccalaureate institutions, on the other hand, generally refrained from assigning such dramatic significance to online learning systems. Still, the survey showed 58 percent of all participating colleges agreed that online learning systems were strategically critical.
This percentage has stayed largely consistent over the last four years, leading the report’s authors to conclude that the perceived strategic significance of the internet may have reached a plateau. However, they also note that 70 percent of colleges report that competition for the growing number of students interested in online learning systems is increasing.
“For the first time, [schools] are seeing students choose another college for its online training program,” said one report author. This competition may lead schools to increase their geographic reach, focusing more on online and LMS students.
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