Despite enthusiasm from many thinkers about the quality of online education, apparently it’s not growing so quickly anymore.

According to an article by Matthew Dembicki in Community College Times:

Sixty-five percent of responders to an annual survey by the Instructional Technology Council (ITC) said they offer classes that are completely online. That’s down from 75 percent in the previous survey. Meanwhile, 21 percent of participating colleges offer hybrid or “blended” courses—up from 15 percent last year.

More community colleges may be offering hybrid courses as a way to improve the student retention rates of their online courses, which have historically been low, [the survey writer, Fred] Lokken said. Some students may not be ready for courses that are exclusively online, so colleges are using hybrids to prepare them to make the transition, he said.

This trend makes sense. Recent reports indicate that online education is much more effective when it occurs as a component of normal classes, where real people interact together in a real place.

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Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer