Posted by: crudbasher | January 27, 2011

Implications for Online Learning Growth

This report was just released by Ambient Insight.  In it, they discuss how online learning is growing at double digits per year.  This is happening at the fringes right now, but I think this year a big state (with budget problems) will plunge into online learning big time.  This will encourage others to follow.

Traditional classroom learning is expensive.  The buildings and support staff cost major bucks.  Doing it all online would be much cheaper I think.  As for access to technology, we spend thousands of dollars per students in the US to education our kids in schools.  Couldn’t a fraction of that money be used to subsidize a computer and broadband connection for each child?  It would be interesting to do the math.

So what does this all mean?  I think there are several conclusions to draw.

  1. You need less teachers, less schools, less buses and more online content.
  2. Once you have distance learning, the magnitude of the distance doesn’t matter. Translation: Some of the teacher’s job can be outsourced overseas. Just tutoring at first.
  3. It will be possible to match the exact right teacher with the right student for them.  This will be the biggest improvement in education.
  4. Learning can be year round.

Did I miss anything or do you disagree? Please chime in!

  • Interesting report just released discussing growth of online learning

    tags: education online learning growth nell

    • By 2015, 25 million post-secondary students in the United States will be taking classes online. And as that happens, the number of students who take classes exclusively on physical campuses will plummet, from 14.4 million in 2010 to just 4.1 million five years later, according to a new forecast released by market research firm Ambient Insight.
    • The report, “The US Market for Self-paced eLearning Products and Services: 2010-2015 Forecast and Analysis,” predicted a five-year compound decline of 22.08 percent per year in students attending traditional classrooms exclusively.
    • the real growth will be seen among students taking classes exclusively online. Ambient predicted a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.06 percent in that area, from 1.37 million in 2010 to 3.86 million in 2015.
    • In terms of the top institutions for full-time enrollment, all of the institutions in Ambient Insight’s top-5 continued to experience growth over the last two years, though that growth declined for all but one.
    • Ambient Insight Chief Research Officer Sam S. Adkins
    • said that all of this growth will help propel expenditures on electronic learning products in higher education to unprecedented levels (though it won’t be the only factor driving spending).
    • The report focused on expenditures by academic institutions, businesses, and other organizations on a category of electronic learning products that Ambient Insight refers to as “self-paced e-learning products,” which includes learning management, classroom management, and learning content management systems, along with student information systems and hosted learning platforms, among others.
    • In higher education in the United States, according to Ambient, expenditures on these types of products will grow at a five-year CAGR of 6.7 percent, reaching $6.1 billion by 2015. Combined with K-12, academic institutions in the United States alone will account for $11 billion in expenditures in this category by 2015.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.



  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by, Andrew Barras. Andrew Barras said: New post: Implications for Online Learning Growth #edchat #edreform […]

  2. I don’t think that we will need less teachers, I think that we may even need more. There roles and time spent teaching will look different. I am envisioning something like a education version where students and teachers are paired based on learning styles, passions, interests, etc. That may create a call for more teachers working less hours.

    • Well let’s look at it like this: A student need X amount of instruction per day. Right now they are getting it from a single person – the teacher. What if other people were teachers part time? If my student has a question about nuclear physics, I want them to talk to a nuclear physicist, not their teacher. This is possible now with technology. This will allow people to sign up for part time teaching online (after background checks of course). They can make a little extra money and can do a impromptu teaching. Once this happens, you won’t need as many full time teachers, that’s my point. We will see!

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