Distance Education Enrollment Statistics

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) launched a new report examining the new IPEDS information on distance education. The report, named Enrollment in Distance Education Programs by State, is a welcome addition to those enthusiastic about testing and knowing the condition of distance education (mostly as an online format) in US higher education.

The Fall Enrollment part of the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System or IPEDS, study gathered information for the first time on enrollment in courses in which educational content was offered specifically through distance education, described in IPEDS as “education that uses one or more technological innovation to provide training to learners who are separated from the trainer and to support frequent and purposeful interaction between the learners and the trainer synchronously or asynchronously.” These Web Tables provide current information of enrollment in distance education courses across states and in various types of organizations. They are designed to serve as a useful guideline for monitoring future trends, particularly as certain states and organizations concentrate on MOOCs and other online learning projects from a policy viewpoint.

DistanceEducationFrom one viewpoint, this is extensive because NCES is enjoying a crucial part in offering the raw information for professionals to analyze. It is also easy to understand that since this was the first IPEDS study regarding distance education in many years, there truly was no guideline information for evaluation. Even so, a few features of important information factors would have been beneficial.

There is also a deficiency of caveats. The largest one has to do with the state-by-state studies. Enrollments follow where the organization is situated and not where the college student is situated while taking the distance courses. Consider Arizona: the state has several organizations (Arizona State University, Grand Canyon University, Rio Salado College, and the University of Phoenix) with huge numbers of enrollments in other states. Those enrollments are all mentioned in Arizona, so the state-by-state evaluations have specific definitions that might not be obvious without some viewpoint offered. Even though there are no features, the first two sections contain a selection of sources to prior research. These details beg the query as to what the tables in this report have to say on the same factors of research.

The World of Distance Learning Systems

Distance learning is a mode of providing education and training, often on an individual basis, to students who are not physically present in a conventional setting such as a class room. Distance learning systems provide “access to education when the source of information and the students are separated by time or distance, or both.” Nowadays, online learning, usually in college-level, where students work on their own at home or at the office and interaction with faculty and other students via e-, digital forums, video chat, message boards, instant messaging and other forms of computer-based communication. Most distance learning systems include a computer-based training (CBT) program and communication tools to produce a virtual class room. Because the World Wide Web is accessible from virtually all pc systems, they serve as the foundation for distance learning methods.

The first online learning course in the modern era was provided and developed by Sir Isaac Pitman in the 1840s, who taught a system of shorthand by mailing texts transcribed into shorthand on post cards and receiving transcriptions from his students in return for correction, the element of student feedback was crucial advancement of Pitman’s program.

distance-learning-systemsThere are different types of distance learning systems:

Audio Based – It is distance learning method utilizing one-way or two-way interaction. This includes everything from radio broadcasting and phone conferences to pre-recorded audio CDs.

Video Based – There are two basic types of video distance learning courses:

  • Prerecorded Video – videotaped courses are sent to students who can view them at an off-site location.
  • Two-Way Interactive Video – Satellites, cameras, and computer monitors allow teachers and/or students at another website.

Internet Based – Web centered applications require a web based accessibility and little else. Students of online distance learning applications often receive training through websites, email, digital forums, and messaging systems. These applications generally offer the same program as on-site applications and usually come with an adjusted price tag. Perhaps this is why internet distance learning is becoming so popular. Distance education and learning technologies are separated into two ways of delivery: synchronous learning and asynchronous learning. In synchronous learning, all members are ”present” simultaneously. In this regard, it appears like conventional class room teaching methods despite the members being located remotely. It requires a schedule to be organized. In asynchronous learning, members access course materials flexibly on their own schedules.

Principles of Effective Distance Education

“Fast and Easy” and distance education do not always go so well together, but John Sawyer of the National Judicial College did shed some light on different techniques to digital studying in the session How to Make Technology Work for You: Quick and Easy Ideas for Distance Learning. To present the subject, members were requested to discuss some of their encounters with online and share any concerns or issues. Reactions included:

  • “How do you enhance attendance?”
  • “Should we create our own modules or purchase libraries?
  • “Is asynchronous or synchronous studying better?”
  • “How does combined studying work?”
  • “Does educational style apply online?
  • “Do studying modules need to be ADA accessible?”
  • “Are judicial teachers becoming techies?”


Sawyer revisited primary ideas such as synchronous and asynchronous studying, face-to-face studying and combined studying before examining some software choices relevant to e-learning. He discussed the use of Articulate, Camtasia, Capitivate, iSpring suite, Jing, and Moodle.He then confirmed some studying things that had been designed for the National Judicial College. Some hurdles to easily developing learning objects in distance education (asynchronous learning) consist of the following:

  • Instructional style needs time.
  • Distance studying requires a longer period.
  • Learning things are part of a bigger program.
  • You need to interact with the student.
  • Captions or transcript may be required for 508 conformity.

Sawyer then provided some guidelines on educational style for studying objects:

  • Chunk the information.
  • Make the student do something.
  • Tell the student what they are going to do.
  • Tell the student what they just did.
  • Maintain a reliability of style.
  • Identify your studying purpose.
  • Identify your studying actions.
  • Write out the entire story for any documented audio segments.
  • Check for display audience interface.
  • Conduct needs evaluation.
  • Focus on growing styles in cellular phones and know what performs.
  • Develop resilient material.