In 2008 my colleague Rob Malinowski and I took it upon ourselves to conduct an informal investigation into the trend of online course enrollment within the College of Education at Michigan State University. What we found was a trend that supported our initial hypothesis that online course enrollments have increased in the last 5 years. Data Collection:
The data we collected was from the online course scheduling website provided by Michigan State University. At the time of this study (Spring of 2008) we only had data that went back to fall of 2003.
Once we had the data we were able to construct a series of graphs that showed the overall enrollment as well as the semester and course breakdown. When viewed on the original site, the user can click through the various semesters to see a more detialed makeup of the enrollment per semester.
We found that:
Using the data collected we were able to build a detailed graph of enrollment broken down by semester, and then further identified by department offerings within the college. As seen in the graph below there is distinctive trend of increasing online course enrollments within the College of Education. Of the varying departments within the college, it appears as though the Teacher Education program is growing at the largest rate.
It is my intention to revisit this research in the coming year to further investigate the trend. It would also be beneficial to broaden the scope to include more colleges across the university to get a more generalizable result to the university setting as a whole.
Original Website as presented in 2008: