Monday, November 23, 2009

Disrupting Class by 2014 in College....

In his book Disrupting Class, Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen makes a case that half of all HS courses in the U.S. will be delivered online by 2019. He has used logarithmic graphing of present day statistics to identify the growth curve that exists for online registrations.
Many people question Christensen's position, but he presents pretty compelling evidence to support the growth curve being very steep, similar to exponential growth.
I feel Christensen's prediction could come true. His argument makes sense.  I don't necessarily know what we need to do about it yet, but I think it could come true and we better start getting prepared soon. I also think the future is part online, and part on the ground, where the majority of students will be in blended programs. They may even be online, at school!
All the uncertainty, and excitement, I feel for the possibility of big changes in public school enrolments aside, today I read about something a bit closer to us than 2019.
2014 to be precise.
On October 21 I shared some information from a webinar I attended with Ambient Insight Chief Research Officer Sam S. Adkins (content below). Today I read a summary Ambient has produced about college students participating in online courses. They predict 2014 will be a big year. Let's look at their numbers using a NOW and 2014 comparison.
NOW (fact)
100% online courses: 1.25 million students
100% traditional courses: 15.14 million students
Blended courses: 10.65 million students
2014 (prediction)
100% online courses: 3.55 million students
100% traditional courses: 5.14 million students
Blended courses: 18.65 million students
What do you make of all that?  Are these numbers reasonable?  Knowing that colleges need to make money too, are there any lessons in these numbers?
I think there might be....
For what it is worth, full disclosure is that I am taking courses online right now. The courses I am taking are excellent, and much like in a regular classroom, the quality of the teacher makes the course. 
the whole article on Adkin's predictions is available here:

1 comment:

MHorn said...

Very interesting. I had not seen Ambient's HigherEd numbers... our projection assumes "online" to mean in a hybrid/blended environment or distance by the way, so that might bring more context. Hopefully we can use this as a real opportunity to improve education, not just put things online.