Study: Distance Learning Also Benefits Students on Campus

Black Issues in Higher Education, April 13, 2000 | Go to article overview

Study: Distance Learning Also Benefits Students on Campus


WASHINGTON -- As colleges increased their use of the Internet to provide more distance learning classes and degrees, students on campus also reaped benefits that improved school life, a new report on the growth of college online services says.

In just a year, the number of colleges offering online degrees doubled, says a report from Market Data Retrieval, a Dun & Bradstreet educational research company. But the study shows that colleges also spent more money on technology and added computers to on-campus residence halls and classrooms.

In addition to taking Internet-based courses themselves, on-campus students also gained online access to study help, professors, lecture notes, class registration, parking permits and tuition payment.

Researchers, who surveyed 4,000 institutions, found that seven in 10 colleges now offer some form of distance learning, including courses, lecture notes and online study groups. For the 1999-2000 academic year, 34 percent of two- and four-year colleges offered degrees via computer, compared with 15 percent a year ago.

Yet as interest in online education grows, with one computer software billionaire even offering to provide it free to all takers, researchers and other educators say it's too soon to predict a nation of college students perched in front of dorm or home computers instead of in class. …

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