Fall 2014 IPEDS Data: Interactive table ranking DE programs by enrollment

Last week I shared a static view of the US institutions with the 30 highest enrollments of students taking at least one online (distance ed, or DE) course. But we can do better than that, thanks to some help from Justin Menard at LISTedTECH and his Tableau guidance.

The following interactive chart allows you to see the full rankings based on undergraduate, graduate and combined enrollments. And it has two views – one for students taking at least one online course and one for exclusive online students. Note the following:

Tableau hints

  • (1) shows how you can change views by selecting the appropriate tab.
  • (2) shows how you can sort on any of the three measures (hover over the column header).
  • (3) shows the sector for each institution by the institution name.

Continue reading

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No Filters: My ASU/GSV Conference Panel on Personalized Learning

ASU’s Lou Pugliese was kind enough to invite me to participate on a panel discussion on “Next-Generation Digital Platforms,” which was really about a soup of adaptive learning, CBE, and other stuff that the industry likes to lump under the heading “personalized learning” these days. One of the reasons the panel was interesting was that we had some smart people on the stage who were often talking past each other a little bit because the industry wants to talk about the things that it can do something about—features and algorithms and product design—rather than the really hard and important parts that it has little influence over—teaching practices and culture and other messy human stuff. I did see a number of signs at the conference (and on the panel) that ed tech businesses and investors are slowly getting smarter about understanding their respective roles and opportunities. But this particular topic threw the panel right into the briar patch. It’s hard to understand a problem space when you’re focusing on the wrong problems. I mean no disrespect to the panelists or to Lou; this is just a tough nut to crack.

I admit, I have few filters under the best of circumstances and none left at all by the second afternoon of an ASU/GSV conference. I was probably a little disruptive, but I prefer to think of it as disruptive innovation.

Here’s the video of the panel:

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Fall 2014 IPEDS Data: Top 30 largest online enrollments per institution

The National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) and its Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) provide the most official data on colleges and universities in the United States. This is the third year of data.

Let’s look at the top 30 online programs for Fall 2014 (in terms of total number of students taking at least one online course). Some notes on the data source:

  • I have combined the categories ‘students exclusively taking distance education courses’ and ‘students taking some but not all distance education courses’ to obtain the ‘at least one online course’ category;
  • Each sector is listed by column;
  • IPEDS tracks data based on the accredited body, which can differ for systems – I manually combined most for-profit systems into one institution entity as well as Arizona State University[1];
  • See this post for Fall 2013 Top 30 data and see this post for Fall 2014 profile by sector and state.

Fall 2014 Top 30 Largest Online Enrollments Per Institution Continue reading

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Fall 2014 IPEDS Data: New Profile of US Higher Ed Online Education

The National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) and its Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) provide the most official data on colleges and universities in the United States. I have been analyzing and sharing the data in the initial Fall 2012 dataset and for the Fall 2013 dataset. Both WCET and the Babson Survey Research Group also provide analysis of the IPEDS data for distance education. I highly recommend the following analysis in addition to the profile below (we have all worked together behind the scenes to share data and analyses).

Below is a profile of online education in the US for degree-granting colleges and university, broken out by sector and for each state. Continue reading

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A Moment of Clarity on the Role of Technology in Teaching

This following excerpt is based on a post first published at The Chronicle of Higher Education.

With all of the discussion around the role of online education for traditional colleges and universities, over the past month we have seen reminders that key concerns are about people and pedagogy, not technology. And we can thank two elite universities that don’t have large online populations — MIT and George Washington University — for this clarity.

On April 1, the MIT Online Education Policy Initiative released its report,“Online Education: A Catalyst for Higher Education Reforms.” The Carnegie Corporation-funded group was created in mid-2014, immediately after an earlier initiative looked at the future of online education at MIT. The group’s charter emphasized a broader policy perspective, however, exploring “teaching pedagogy and efficacy, institutional business models, and global educational engagement strategies.”

While it would be easy to lament that this report comes from a university with few online students and yet dives into how online learning fits in higher education, it would be a mistake to dismiss the report itself. This lack of “in the trenches” experience with for-credit online education helps explain the report’s overemphasis on MOOCs and its underemphasis on access and nontraditional learner support. Still, the MIT group did an excellent job of getting to some critical questions that higher-education institutions need to address. Chief among them is the opportunity to use online tools and approaches to instrument and enable enhanced teaching approaches that aren’t usually possible in traditional classrooms. Continue reading

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