Recently two studies showing a diagnosis of the state of online education, circunstritos the U.S. context were published. 
The first study is conducted by the Babson Survey Research Group (coordinated by Professors Elaine Allen and Jeff Seaman, and in collaboration with Pearson and the Sloan Consortium), and has been presented annually for the past 11 years. 
Entitled "Grade Change" Tracking Online Education in the United States (Change: Status of Online Education in the United States), this study analyzed the responses of academic managers and students in college and university courses taught online.

Some of the results obtained in this report are:

  • 7.1 million college students are taking at least one online course.
  • This represents an increase of 400,000 additional students the previous year.
  • Percentages, almost 33% (one third) of students taking at least one online course.
  • Most of the academic managers (75%) recognize that learning outcomes in online courses are equal to or better than classroom courses.
  • Most agree that students require more responsibility and discipline to take online courses, and the abandonment of the courses remains one of the challenges of online education.
  • Theme credit and extension of MOOCs also discusses sustainability.

The second study, conducted by Harvard professors and and MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), reflects the situation of 17 courses MOOC (massive open online courses, and massive open online courses) offered through the edX platform. Among the results, the authors:

  • The percentages of approval of courses can be misleading to study the potential impact of these courses.
  • One of the issues identified is that the vast majority of students who are enrolled in a MOOC course, never come into contact with the educational content or are less than half.
  • The dropout rate is much higher in the first weeks of the course (50 % drop in the first or second week) and stabilized as the course progresses.
  • 43.196 students (5% of total enrollment ) approved courses and obtained certificates (an average of 2,540 per course estudiants MOOC).
  • Although 66% of all enrolled students have completed a university degree, 33 % are women, only 6% are over 50, and only 3% from less developed countries according to the United Nations, the researchers argue that despite this, a lot of students get the opportunity to contact educational content and courses have a range for different types of people and people with different characteristics.

Although these studies have their limitations and are circunstritos only one country, we provide an interesting assessment of the online education and provide data that can be useful to us in our educational proposals.

Links of Interest:

Study "Grade Change" Tracking Online Education in the United States

Analysis by Alberto Sangrá

Infographic of the main results

Analysis by Katie Lepi

Harvard and MIT Study on edX MOOC courses

Analysis by Tony Bates