Apex Learning & Blackboard Sponsor Study
February 15, 2002, Washington, D.C. – More than 50 percent of U.S. high schools are currently offering online courses or exploring them for the future, according to a study released today at the American Association of School Administrators Conference in San Diego. The study, “Online Courses and Other Types of Online Learning for High School Students,” was conducted by Interactive Educational Systems Design, Inc. (IESD) of New York City, and sponsored by Apex Learning and Blackboard Inc.
Researchers surveyed 447 high school principals and 345 school district administrators, exploring their districts’ and schools’ status, opinions and future plans for offering online courses. The survey revealed that more than 40 percent of all public high schools are already using online courses or planning to start using them during this school year. Another 17 percent are interested in offering online courses in the future. The study also revealed that 32 percent of public school districts will adopt and use an e-Learning platform for the first time in 2002.
“When we began this study, we expected that we would see a fair number of schools offering online courses, but the momentum that virtual learning is building in U.S. high schools is noteworthy,” said Jay Sivin-Kachala, principal investigator, Interactive Educational Systems Design, Inc. “The data suggest that many educational leaders are committed to taking advantage of the benefits that online courses can offer their students.”
Schools and districts revealed that they are turning to online courses to help tackle a number of challenges. Delivering a broader curriculum cost-effectively and expanding college preparation/Advanced Placement offerings were among the top reasons schools and districts gave for adopting online courses. Providing educational equity and resolving scheduling conflicts were also cited by many as key motivators for offering students the opportunity to enroll in online courses.
“In just a few years, online courses are quickly becoming an integral part of the high school experience,” said Keith Oelrich, president and CEO, Apex Learning. “This research supports Apex Learning’s belief that online courses can help schools ensure that students have access to the high quality educational opportunities needed for success in college and in life, regardless of the resources available locally.”
When selecting a vendor for online courses, survey respondents reported that an accredited/approved curriculum was the number one factor in their decision-making process. Other important factors included affordability; configuration for the needs of grades 9-12; ease/speed of implementation; reporting of student progress and outcomes; and realistic time/training demands on district and school staff.
“The IESD study clearly illustrates the current state and future direction of the U.S. high school e-Learning market,” said Steve Hoffman, president and COO, Blackboard Inc. “As a company serving the high school market, we are very pleased to see Blackboard so widely recognized and highly regarded. More importantly, the study’s results reflect that Blackboard has positioned itself very well to serve the future needs of this rapidly growing segment of the e-Learning market.”
For a copy of the executive summary of “Online Courses and Other Types of Online Learning for High School Students,” visit http://www.apexlearning.com or http://www.blackboard.com