E-Learning – A Financial and Strategic Perspective, Stephen R. Ruth, Educause Quarterly, 29 (1), 22-30 (2006). ‘Institutions can consider different options in shaping a long-term strategy for achieving acceptable financial returns from e-learning. A report sponsored by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation examined the importance of online education at more than 1,000 universities in the United States. The results, published in November 2004, seemed to indicate that two major problems that had complicated distance learning’s progress for almost a decade had been solved. First, the study found that students and administrators believe that the quality of e-learning now matches that of traditional teaching methods. According to the report,
- Three-fourths of academic leaders at public colleges and universities believe that online learning quality equals or surpasses face-to-face instruction.
- The larger the school, the more positive the belief in the quality of online learning compared to face-to-face instruction.
A second major finding was that universities provide distance learning to almost two million users, with a rate of increase of about 25 percent per year.’
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. ‘The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, a philanthropic nonprofit institution, was established in 1934 by Alfred Pritchard Sloan, Jr., then President and Chief Executive Officer of the General Motors Corporation.’