Healthcare compliances training and discussion blog

Archive for January, 2011

Online Learning Set for Explosive Growth as Traditional Classrooms Decline

By 2015, 25 million post-secondary students in the United States will be taking classes online. And as that happens, the number of students who take classes exclusively on physical campuses will plummet, from 14.4 million in 2010 to just 4.1 million five years later, according to a new forecast released by market research firm Ambient Insight.

Blended and Online Learning Growth
The report, “The US Market for Self-paced eLearning Products and Services: 2010-2015 Forecast and Analysis,” predicted a five-year compound decline of 22.08 percent per year in students attending traditional classrooms exclusively. The number of post-secondary students taking some (but not all) classes online will grow at a compound annual rate of 11.08 percent over the same five-year period, from 12.36 million in 2010 to 21.13 million in 2015. But the real growth will be seen among students taking classes exclusively online. Ambient predicted a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.06 percent in that area, from 1.37 million in 2010 to 3.86 million in 2015.

By that time, the number of students taking classes exclusively online will be nearly equal to the number taking classes exclusively on a physical campus, with a gap of just 240,000 students (a figure that represents less than 1 percent of the entire forecast post-secondary student population, including degree-granting institutions, vocational training schools, continuing education institutions, etc.)

Further, according to the report, “If this trend continues, by 2018, there will be more full time online students than students that take all their classes in a physical classroom.”

Top Institutions for Online Enrollment
The report also indicated that despite the high five-year compound annual growth figures, the annual growth of full-time and part-time online enrollments at the top-10 institutions seems to have slowed in the last two years, while growth at some of the smaller institutions accelerated. The report characterized the larger institutions as “pioneers in online learning with large numbers of students” that are “approaching enrollment saturation points” and aligning with previous forecasts.

In terms of the top institutions for full-time enrollment, all of the institutions in Ambient Insight’s top-5 continued to experience growth over the last two years, though that growth declined for all but one.

  • American Public Education, which continued to be the largest institution in terms of full-time enrollments, climbed 31.3 percent from 2009 to 2010 (77,700 total), compared with growth of 49.2 percent from 2008 to 2009.
  • Bridgepoint Education, in the second slot, saw the greatest growth among the top institutions in the same period, increasing 40.7 percent from 54,800 online enrollments in 2009 to 77,100 by the end of 2010. That growth, nevertheless, was a sharp dropoff from the 101 percent single-year growth experienced from 2008 to 2009.
  • At No. 3, UMassOnline grew 14.5 percent to 45,800 in 2010. The institution had experienced 18 percent growth the previous year.
  • On the heels of 17.1 percent growth from 2008 to 2009, Walden University experienced a smaller 12.6 percent growth from 2009 to 2010, climbing to 45,600 enrollments.
  • Rounding out the top-5, Liberty University was the only top institution to see increased growth in the two-year analysis. Liberty U grew 24.3 percent from 2009 to 2010, reaching an enrollment level of 45,000. It had experienced significantly less growth, 15.6 percent, in the previous year.

A similar pattern emerged for the top institutions for part-time online enrollments, according to Ambient Insight. All of the institutions in the top-5 continued to experience healthy, double-digit growth from 2009 to 2010, just slightly less healthy than the growth experienced from 2008 to 2009.

  • University of Phoenix Online experienced 16.8 percent growth from 2009 to 2010, down from 22.3 percent growth the previous year. Total enrollment of students taking at least one class online in 2010 was a dominant 362,500.
  • State University of New York Learning Network saw 13.9 percent growth from 2009 to 2010, off slightly from the 17.6 percent growth experienced the previous year. Its total enrollment in 2010 was 111,400.
  • The Ohio Learning Network saw 17.9 percent growth in 2010, down from 25 percent growth from 2008 to 2009. Its 2010 online enrollment figure was 110,400.
  • Kaplan University experienced the greatest amount of growth among the top institutions at 36.4 percent from 2009 to 2010. It had experienced growth of 47 percent from 2008 to 2009. Its 2010 online enrollment figure was 75,000.
  • Finally, DeVry experienced a substantial 18.1 percent growth in 2010, off from the 26.7 percent growth it experienced in 2009. Total 2010 online enrollments were 66,500, Ambient Insight reported.

Further details about the top institutions are available in Ambient Insight’s report.

The report also spotlighted some of the smaller online institutions, many of which are also experiencing double-digit growth in enrollments. Some are using partnerships with commerical suppliers to accelerate that growth further. Ambient Insight Chief Research Officer Sam S. Adkins also pointed to a creative partnership between the state of Indiana and Western Governors University.

“An interesting partnership is the deal between the state of Indiana and Western Governors University (WGU) forged in August 2010,” . “WGU set up a private portal called WGU Indiana allowing Indiana to launch an online school with very little upfront capital. WGU Indiana operates at no cost to the state. The Indiana governor refers to the new online school as ‘Indiana’s eighth state university.’ As of January 2011, enrollment had tripled to reach 800 students, mostly working adults, just six months after launch. WGU Indiana indicates they are adding ‘nearly 100 new students each month.’ This is a unique business model that should appeal to other states if it is successful.”

E-Learning Expenditures Booming
Adkins said that all of this growth will help propel expenditures on electronic learning products in higher education to unprecedented levels (though it won’t be the only factor driving spending).

The report focused on expenditures by academic institutions, businesses, and other organizations on a category of electronic learning products that Ambient Insight refers to as “self-paced e-learning products,” which includes learning management, classroom management, and learning content management systems, along with student information systems and hosted learning platforms, among others. This category does not include mobile learning, gaming, or several other major e-learning categories. (Ambient Insight’s detailed methodology and category definitions can be found here.)

In higher education in the United States, according to Ambient, expenditures on these types of products will grow at a five-year CAGR of 6.7 percent, reaching $6.1 billion by 2015. Combined with K-12, academic institutions in the United States alone will account for $11 billion in expenditures in this category by 2015.

Higher education isn’t the only segment experiencing growth in electronic learning expenditures. Across all industry segments, the market for these electronic learning products and services grew to $18.2 billion in the United States in 2010. That overall figure will climb to $24.2 billion in 2015, according to Ambient Insight’s latest forecast–a relatively modest 5.9 percent compound annual growth comparable to that of Western Europe but lagging far behind Asia (at nearly a 30 percent five-year CAGR from 2010 to 2015), Eastern Europe (nearly 25 percent CAGR), Latin America (about 18 percent CAGR), and Africa (roughly 17 percent CAGR). Ambient said Asia’s growth rate will propel it to become the second-largest consumer of these types of electronic learning products by 2015, just ahead of Western Europe and just behind North America.

Ambient Insight’s latest report, “The US Market for Self-paced eLearning Products and Services: 2010-2015 Forecast and Analysis,” is available now from Ambient Insight for $4,825 for an organizational site license. Further information, including a free executive summary with additional details, can be found here.

This article was originally posted at






Learning through Situated Simulations: Exploring Mobile Augmented Reality

Here’s a research bulletin from the  EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research on learning through situated simulations.

“This ECAR research bulletin illustrates and reports on a series of experiments with situated simulations that have been tested with students in real environments in Norway, Athens, and Rome over the past couple of years. To improve your enjoyment of this bulletin, the author recommends clicking on the short video demonstrations to better understand and “see” how situated simulations work. The goal of the researchers has been to understand the extent to which mobile technologies and augmented reality used for situated simulations can improve situated learning. Situated simulations can use verbal resources in combination with 3D graphics to create a multi-modal dynamic representation that augments the real place with relevant information needed for different educational purposes. The big question is how these simulations should be composed and organized in order to  improve learning. The experiments reported here are early attempts to build knowledge and experience in this exiting field.”

This article was originally posted at

Maastricht University Mobile and Laptop Survey 2010

A growing number of students and teachers possess and use laptops, smart phones or other portable communications systems for learning or working. This is the reason that Maastricht University started a project on Mobile Learning last April, in which several pilots will focus on how students and teachers can use their mobile devices for teaching and learning.

In addition to this the UM pays growing attention to education for new target groups (not attending a standard program). Teachers ask to use more flexible tools to enhance interaction between students and the teacher during face to face activities. Moreover, there is a movement to deploy (existing and new) functionality to support previously used “techniques” to support teaching and learning activities (think of concept mapping, CSCL, voting). It seems a trend to make use of mobile devices within and outside the walls of the institution.

The project focuses in 6 pilots on how mobile devices can be used to increase interaction within the education (both under-face education and online sessions) and what implications this has for teaching and learning, but also for creating a suitable infrastructure and support service. Results of the pilots and the project as a whole will be available in spring 2011.

From the sixth of October 2010 till the first of November a questionnaire was sent out to gather information about the diffusion and use of smart phones and laptop among the entire student population of Maastricht University.

Summary of survey results

52 % of the respondents own a smart phone, 48 % own a regular mobile phone. Apple is the most popular smart phone brand university wide. As an exception at FHML-Health Sciences HTC is the most popular brand. iPhone Os is the most popular smart phone platform, followed by Android and Blackberry Os.

78 % of the smart phoning owning students have a data subscription for internet access. Almost all, 95 %, have WIFI on their smart phone.

Texting and making phone calls are by far the most used features of the smart phone. Some features with potential for educational uses are also used by many smart phoning students; Internet access (91 %), e-mail (81 %), Social Networking (79 %) and Chatting (IM) (50 %). Even watching video (49 %) and Reading/editing documents (39 %) are quite popular.

94 % of the smart phone students indicate they would use university e-mail on their phone, which is already possible. It is unknown how many students already make use of the university e-mail on their smart phone. Other services that are very likely to be used are Class schedules/Time tables (81 %), EleUM Announcements (64 %) and EleUM Courses/Organizational content (57 %). Less popular but still likely to be used services include University/Events Calendar, Library – Free Computers/Workplaces and a Course Catalog.

Laptop summary
96 % of the respondents own a laptop. Microsoft Windows is the most popular operating system (76 %), followed by Apple Mac Os (22 %). Firefox is the most used as a browser by the laptop owning students (42 %), followed by Google Chrome (21 %) and Internet Explorer (19 %).

76 % of the laptop owning students bring their laptops to the University. Of the students that bring their laptop 94 % make use of the wireless network. The most popular place to use the laptop is within the library (92 %). 51 % of those that bring their laptop use it in the tutorial groups.

Download report

The full report can be downloaded here


Schools test iPads in classrooms

By Bruce Newma

Before, during and even between classes at Hillbrook School this fall, seventh-graders have been spotted on the Los Gatos, Calif., campus, sometimes burbling Spanish or Mandarin phrases into the glowing screen in their hands, other times staring into it like a looking glass.

iPads — the Apple of almost every adolescent’s eye — are being provided to students at several Bay Area public and private schools this year, including Hillbrook, which claims to be the only K-8 school in America using tablet computers in class and sending them home. This has led to a lot of 12-year-olds swanning around the wooded hillside campus, talking to their iPads.

Summoning up a virtual keyboard recently, Sophie Greene quickly typed a note to herself in iCal, a calendar program, then played back an audio file in which she was speaking Spanish. “We record a conversation, e-mail it to our teacher, Senorita Kelly,” she explained, “then she critiques the lesson in Spanish and sends that back to us.”

For the 28 seventh-graders entrusted with iPads at Hillbrook, the pictures that flash across the device’s screen open a window to a wider world. The iPad allows them to take daily excursions across time and space to such exotic ports as ancient Mesopotamia and modern China.

The only drawback is that with their assignments all composed on iPads, the one excuse that no longer works for Hillbrook’s seventh-graders is, “The dog ate my homework.”

At Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose — which introduced 32 iPads into the classroom this fall — the devices are used only in class. And Stanford’s School of Medicine gave 92 iPads outright to its first-year students this September. At Hillbrook, which received its iPads last summer as a gift from the parents of two students, seventh-graders like Sophie slip the handheld devices into backpacks at the end of the school day. Hillbrook’s program has been such a hit that it will be expanded next year to include eighth-graders.

As the high-tech tablets complete the first phase of these academic tests, the future of the iPad as an educational tool is raising questions about whether the most plugged-in technology will be remain the exclusive digital domain of the wealthiest schools.

With studies about the value of computers in the classroom indicating that results are “all over the map,” according to one local educator, low-income schools aren’t even sure what they might be missing.

“The achievement gap is alive and well,” said Judith McGarry, Rocketship Education’s director of development. “Private schools and very wealthy public school districts are absolutely going to have all sorts of resources to throw at their kids. We believe that in our society, all children need to be technologically literate.”

Rocketship, the award-winning nonprofit charter school network with three San Jose schools, recently declined a donation of iPads from two large Silicon Valley companies, preferring to wait until more textbooks are published digitally.

Woodside High School recently acquired about 25 iPads for Mandarin language classes, but quickly reassigned a handful for Aaron Blanding’s special ed classes for students with orthopedic impairments. “It’s maybe not as important academically,” Blanding said, “but our kids like that when they take them into general education classes, they hear the other kids talking about how cool they are.”

Hillbrook English teacher Tom Bonoma hopes he never has to go back to teaching the old way.

“The iPad has really been a game-changer,” he said. “It allows us to do a lot of things in real time that weren’t possible before.” During a class discussion of “A Raisin in the Sun,” a play about a struggling black family set in post-war Chicago, students used Animation Creator HDto record their interpretations of a scene. “It puts the sugar in the medicine of taking notes,” Bonoma said. “They suddenly look forward to doing that because they get to interact with this gadget.”

Apple essentially had cornered the consumer tablet market when administrators at Hillbrook, Mitty, University High School in San Francisco and San Domenico in Marin were considering the iPad last summer as an educational implement.

“It seemed clear to us that it’s a revolutionary kind of tool,” said Brent Hinrichs, Hillbrook’s head of middle school. “It gets everyone involved all the time. That interaction is critical in having them think and experience every moment that they’re in the classroom.”

Revolutionary or not, using it as an educational tool was so untested that “tech mentor” Elise Marinkovich had to configure the iPads herself. Trying to figure out how to block Facebook, and to install the kid-friendly browser from Mobicip, she made countless visits to the Genius Bar at the Los Gatos Apple store. All the effort paid off.

During a recent Hillbrook history class, students fetched files on the achievements of ancient Mesopotamians, wrote several paragraphs about them on the Pages app, inserted photographs from Geo Photo Explorer, then e-mailed their work to teacher Christina Pak. She projected results onto an interactive “smart board” for discussion. You can almost imagine Elroy Jetson asking her a question by instant message.

So far, only one of the $500 tablets has been damaged badly enough to require repair. “It’s an educational tool,” said Marinkovich, who was thrilled when head of school Mark Silver decided the kids should be trusted to take their iPads home. “If we just stop it at school, how is that helping them?”

Mitty administrators weren’t ready to make that leap, although the school may loosen its policy next year. “The interface is very open and collaborative, and I think it fosters a lot of independent inquiry and research,” said Lisa Brunolli, an assistant principal in charge of the school’s test program. “But it quickly became frustrating that students couldn’t take them home and use them for homework.”

Rocketship’s schools don’t use computers of any kind in the classroom, believing them to be a distraction from “the social learning experience,” according to McGarry. But they do promote online literacy with computer labs, and are conducting research of their own on whether computers are a help or a hindrance to learning. “We think they’re helping,” McGarry says.

Books for the current school year had already been purchased when iPads were added to backpacks at schools where tablets are being tried out. Educators cling to the hope that they will be able to buy selected chapters of textbooks for use on the tablets, the way music fans pick individual songs on iTunes.

That would suit Sophie just fine. “In sixth grade my backpack was 27 pounds,” she said. “Ohhhh, my back! It was so sore. This would definitely lighten it. And it would be way more eco-friendly.”

Spoken like a true iKid.

This article was originally posted at


Tag Cloud