First of all, Please Note: The term “instructor” is used throughout our website. Postsecondary institutions make frequent references to professors, instructors, tutors, and facilitators. For the purposes of our website, those who develop courses, create lecture notes, and conduct live lectures are referred to as instructors. Those responsible for discussions, quizzes, labs, assignments, and exams, including assigning grades (under the direction of the instructor), are referred to as facilitators.
According to one report, as of 2012, over 60 percent of colleges surveyed in Canada and the United States offer online degree programs (Sheehy, 2013). The independent Institute of Education Sciences (IES), an arm of the U.S. Department of Education that provides statistical, research, and evaluation information, reported in the fall of 2014 that, “5,750,417 students were enrolled in distance learning education courses at degree-granting postsecondary institutions” (IES, 2016). The Online Learning Consortium (OLC) noted, “More than one in four students (28%) now take at least one distance education course” (OLC, 2016).
Online education is not limited to the United States, nor restricted by borders. A Canadian report shows 29% of all Canadian university students have registered in online courses (Bates, 2016). Countries such as Australia, China, India, Malaysia, South Africa, South Korea, and the United Kingdom have endorsed online education, recognizing the power and reach of educating students within and beyond their countries (ICEF, 2016). Online education has become not only an accepted form of educating, but a necessary, and often preferred method for many students to expand upon their regular curriculum, or as an alternative to complete postsecondary certifications and degrees.
Today, even greater numbers of people are choosing to enroll in college and university degrees online. Whether considering an undergraduate or graduate degree, you will find an extensive list of educational institutions that can accommodate your pursuit of higher education. A list of accredited online colleges and universities in Canada and the U.S. states there are “21,876 fully online degrees at the associate, associate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and certificate levels”.