2U Report Highlights Success of Online Education Programs


Education technology company 2U has released its 2nd annual higher education “impact report” concerning a number of myths pertaining to online education.

The report offers a web-based, interactive overview of online degree programs.  In addition, it looks into the students and faculty supported by the company, which offers a cloud-based software-as-a-service technology in combination with technology-enabled services allow institutions to offer high-quality online degree programs.

The report debunked a number of common misconceptions concerning the impact and outcomes achieved through online education.

“At 2U, we believe sharing meaningful information and feedback with our staff and the public creates a culture of transparency that is key to our success. In life and in business, transparency wins. This Impact Report is one representation of our effort to extend the internal conversations we have every day about the state of online education and how public perception can change through greater awareness of the outcomes that online education can achieve,” says 2U’s CEO and co-founder, Chip Paucek.

The study outlined six key findings.  First, 2U states that online education can be equal to, if not better than, traditional education methods.  Using their own data, the company used the example of students enrolled in their programs.  They said that these students earn the same degrees as those students who participated in on-campus lectures.  They went on to say that the curriculum in both types of courses is often the same, with each type of course run by the same professors, writes Molly Greenberg for DCInno.

The report discovered that of the 1,241 faculty members who teach 2U courses, 90% believe the online courses to be of either the same or higher quality when compared to the in-person courses as the online versions offer the content needed to meet learning objectives.

Online courses were found to be engaging because they allow professors and students to work together, even while miles apart.  The average class size offered through 2U programs was discovered to be 10.48 students, allowing every student to receive individualized attention.  Tech support is offered every day and night to students, as well as to help with field placement.  2U data shows 20,493 successful field placements due to 2U’s placement team.

Lastly, it was reported that 1,422 students graduated from 2U programs last year.

Meanwhile, Tamar Lewin for The New York Times reports that Yale Medical School and 2U’s request to expand upon an existing campus program through the addition of a physician assistant master’s degree online has been denied accreditation.  It would have been the first to offer the same Ivy League degree online as it does in the traditional setting.