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Distance learning

Question:
How many students take distance learning courses at the postsecondary level?

Response:
Distance education courses and programs provide flexible learning opportunities to both undergraduate and postbaccalaureate students. In this indicator, distance education courses include live, interactive audio- or videoconferencing; prerecorded instructional videos; webcasts; CD-ROMs or DVDs; or computer-based systems accessed over the Internet. Distance education does not include correspondence courses.

In 200708, about 4.3 million undergraduate students, or 20 percent of all undergraduates, took at least one distance education course. About 0.8 million, or 4 percent of all undergraduates, took their entire program through distance education. The percentage of undergraduates who took any distance education courses rose from 16 percent in 200304 to 20 percent in 200708; over the same period, however, the percentage who took their entire program through distance education decreased from 5 to 4 percent. In addition to these undergraduate students, about 0.8 million, or 22 percent, of all postbaccalaureate students took distance education courses in 200708. The percentage of postbaccalaureate students who took their entire program through distance education (9 percent) was higher than the percentage at the undergraduate level.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2011). The Condition of Education 2011 (NCES 2011-033), Indicator 43.

Number and percentage of undergraduate students in postsecondary institutions taking distance education courses, by selected characteristics: 2007-08
Selected characteristic Number of students taking any distance education courses (in thousands) Percent of all students taking any distance education courses Number of students taking their entire program through distance education (in thousands) Percent of all students taking their entire program through distance education
Total 4,277 20.4 769 3.7
Sex
Male 1,679 18.6 297 3.3
Female 2,598 21.8 472 4.0
Race/ethnicity
   White 2,803 21.7 489 3.8
   Black592 20.2 145 5.0
   Hispanic 484 16.4 74 2.5
   Asian 225 18.2 37 3.0
   Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 27 17.7 1.3!
   American Indian/Alaska Native 39 22.1 2.0!
   Two or more races 99 20.1 15 3.0
   Other and unknown 8 13.4 4.7!
! Interpret data with caution. The coefficient of variation (CV) for this estimate is between 30 and 50 percent.

Reporting standards not met. Either there are too few cases for a reliable estimate or the coefficient of variation (CV) is 50 percent or greater.

NOTE: Estimates pertain to all postsecondary students who enrolled at any time during the school year at an institution participating in Title IV programs. Distance education participation includes participation at any institution for students attending more than one institution during the school year. Data include Puerto Rico. Detail may not sum to totals because of survey item nonresponse and rounding. Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2011). The Condition of Education 2011 (NCES 2011-033), Table A-43-1.

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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education