Pew Research Center Shows University Presidents Committed to Online Learning

Recently, Pew Research Center made a survey of college presidents and the general public, to gauge their opinions and ideas about how online education fits into the overall educational landscape.

The results were surprising: college presidents, who tend to be more tech savvy than the general public, see online learning becoming a more and more integral part of the general college experience.


About the Study

Pew Research Center teamed up with the Chronicle of Higher Education to do this study. In the study of college presidents, over 1,000 college presidents were contacted to answer survey questions. These presidents represented all ypes of institutions, including public, private, and for-profit colleges offering two and four year degrees. The survey of the general public involved a representative sample of over 2,000 American adults.

The Findings

  • College presidents are more likely to say that online learning is equivalent to traditional in-person classes. Based on the survey results, 51% of college presidents agreed that educational value is equivalent in online classes and regulr ones. Just 29% of American adults surveyed agreed.
  • More and more colleges are offering online classes. More than 75% of college presidents reported that their institutions are now offering online classes. Nearly half of adults who have attended college in the past 10 years reported that they had taken a class online.
  • Two-year and for-profit colleges are more likely to offer online classes. 91% of two-year colleges and 71% of for-profit schools offer onine classes. The presidents of these types of institutions are also more likely to state that online learning is just as valuable as in-person courses.
  • About 60% of colleges and universities that offer online classes offer degree programs that can be completed entirely online. Public colleges are more likely than private ones to offer entirely onlie college degrees.
  • Half of college presidents predict that in 10 years, most of their students will be taking classes online. This is a large predicted increase, since only 15% of presidents report that the majority of their current student body has taken an online class.
  • College presidents also foresee an increase in the use of digital textbooks. Over 60% of those surveyed predict that in just a decade, more than half of the textbooks used in their insttution will be in digital formats.

In Sum

To sum up the findings of this study, college presidents, those directing the futures of learning institutions across the U.S., predict that online learning and new technologies will continue to grow in importance in education. These professionals were revealed to be early adopters of technology themselves, so it's no surprise that they understand how this technology will continue to transform the educational landscape.