Distance Education: Quick Statistics on Success and Department Usage

Here is some example data from a few selected departments as of 2016. They should be mostly representative of other departments.

These charts compare online classes and face-to-face in terms of enrollment, retention, and success.


Allied Health: Under 10% of FTES are in online classes. Pretty consistent 10-15% lower success rate for online.



Art Department: Very similar success rates, especially in recent years.



Computer Science: One of the heaviest users of online courses, with online enrollment actually exceeding f2f in recent years. Retention and success are largely similar.  



Guidance: Although FTES are low, many of these classes are 1 or ˝ units, so these have a lot of students. DE classes vary from 15-50% over the years, but we’ve been seeing 15% lower success for online classes in recent years.  


English Department: Enrollment is steady at 10-15% DE. Retention and success are largely similar.  




It seems like decisions on how to utilize online classes are made at the department level. Generally, the approaches fall into a few categories:

1.       Almost any class is a viable candidate for teaching online. The only real limit is how many courses we want to offer online. (Example: English, CSIS)

2.       One or two courses are good candidates for online, but most require students to be present. (Example: Art, Bio, Cmun, Kin, Math, Music, Thea)

3.       There’s a potential for more online classes, but few or no instructors want to make the jump (AJ, Chem, Hist)  (we’re not judging! just trying to get a lay of the land)



For an overview of what the various departments look like, here’s a chart I made in Spring 2017.

The size of the boxes represent enrollment. Departments are grouped by color. The boxes that are shaded a little darker are the fully-online courses. There’s a better version of this here: http://hhh.gavilan.edu/phowell/sp17/