More than three-quarters of the nation’s colleges and universities now offer online classes, and about one-in-four college graduates (23%) have taken a course online, according to separate surveys conducted among college presidents and the general public. The college presidents predict that the use of online courses will increase: 50% say that most students will take classes online 10 years from now. Currently, college presidents and the public have significantly different assessments of the educational value of online course (as opposed to classroom courses). Just three-in-ten American adults (29%) say a course taken online provides an equal educational value to one taken in a classroom. By contrast, half of college presidents say online courses provide the same value. Among those who have graduated from college in the past decade, the figure rises to 46%. Adults who have taken a course online have a somewhat more positive view of the value of this learning format: 39% say a course taken online provides the same educational value as one taken in person, a view shared by only 27% of those who have not taken an online course. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.