Looking Closer at Summer Enrollments – Online Summer Classes Keep Growing

Across all three Colleges, a total of 155 courses ran last summer, with the largest number of these occurring in the May/June term (65 courses). The June/July session had the next highest number of courses available (49 courses). While the majority of courses continue to occur in a face-to-face mode, over one-third of the courses offered (54) were taught in a fully online format. That’s a far cry from the 2013 summer, when just 7% of the courses offered were fully online.

Taking a look at our recent history in terms of courses offered and average class sizes provides additional insight into enrollment trends over the past four summer sessions.

  2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
College of Arts and Sciences          
Sections initially listed 160 155 126 129 131
Sections that ran 125 129 104 117 109
Average class size (all classes) 12.11 10.23 11.4 11.2 11.96
Number of online classes 10 15 25 31 44
Average size of online courses 15.1 13.7 12.92 12.5 12.18
College of Business          
Sections initially listed 21 24 22 23 27
Sections that ran 19 21 21 20 21
Average class size (all classes) 14.89 13.9 12.33 10.3 14.0
Number of online classes 1 2 5 4 5
Average size of online courses 24 23 16.8 12 18.0
College of Education          
Sections initially listed 31 26 28 28 28
Sections that ran 28 21 24 27 25
Average class size (all classes) 12.4 12.52 12.75 12.4 16.32
Number of online classes 2 6 8 7 6
Average size of online courses 13 15.7 13.13 17.1 17.83
Overall          
Total number of classes offered 177 171 149 164 155
Average class size (all classes) 12.4 10.96 11.75 11.9 12.94
Number of online classes 13 23 38 42 54
Average size of online courses 15.5 15.0 13.37 13.3 13.35
Average size of non-online courses 12.15 10.33 11.19 11.4 12.72
Sections initially listed that had to be cancelled 39 34 27 17 31

The average class sizes ticked up a bit – almost 13 students for all courses (compared to just under 12 in the prior summer). Fully online courses, on average, remain  a bit larger than face-to-face classes.

Another important takeaway from these recent summer session trends is that we still have work to do in decreasing the number of summer courses that we have to cancel. In summer 2016, just 9% of the courses initially proposed (17 classes) did not achieve the necessary enrollment minimums and had to be canceled. That was pretty good. But last year, we cancelled 31 classes (17% of the courses listed). Keeping the number of courses that have to be cancelled as low as possible benefits students and faculty alike. Hopefully, the results in this coming summer will look like (or be even better than) what we were able to do in summer 2016.

The 54 fully online courses offered last summer were spread across all five of UMW’s separate summer terms and all three Colleges. Nineteen (19) separate subject disciplines were represented. Only one of the initially proposed online courses had to be canceled, although five online courses that started with more than seven students lost enrollment after the term started and wound up with fewer than seven completing the class.

Proposals for new fully online courses to be offered in summer session 2018 are due to the Distance and Blended Learning Committee by October 31. The form to make a course proposal to the committee is available, appropriately enough, online. Contact Andrew Marshall, committee chair, with questions.

 

 

 


 

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