eLearning Statistics


mentioned by
as seen on

Report Highlights:

  • In 2021, 75% of schools are planning to operate online.
  • Prior to this, 57% of all US students were equipped with digital tools.
  • 45% were elementary students, 64% were middle school students, and 63% were high school students.
  • 80% of schools have purchased or are preparing to purchase additional technology for students.
  • Since 2020, 98% of universities moved classes online.
  • Prior to this, 19.5% of undergraduates took at least one online course.
  • Just 49% of professors approve of online learning.
  • As of 2020, it is believed that 98% of corporate learning will take place online.
  • eLearning can help students to retain between 25% and 60% more information.
  • However, an increase in eLearning has resulted in a 30% increase of failing grades.
  • eLearning has created a socioeconomic divide with 25% to 33% of students not having access to resources.
e-learning trend
e-Learning Interest by State (source google trends)

Related Statistics: College Dropout RatesHomeschooling StatisticsOnline Learning Market Size.

eLearning vs Traditional Learning

It was a long-held belief that eLearning would eventually overtake traditional learning. With the onset of the global pandemic, however, this timeline has been moved up sooner than expected. Thus, it is interesting to determine the differences in the adoption of eLearning practices throughout the years.

At the same time, eLearning has highlighted certain discrepancies in the education system. This includes resources, teacher support, and even security. It is important to consider all the factors at play to determine the true situation for eLearning.

K–12 eLearning Statistics

eLearning has been slowly introduced to the K–12 system for the last decade or so. However, the implementation hasn’t been balanced across the board. Not to mention, the change in global situation has led to an increase in the adoption of eLearning systems and tactics.

  • In 2014, 26 states offered state virtual learning.
  • 24 states offered supplemental classes via virtual schools, catering to over 462,000 students.
  • These students took a total of 815,000 online semester-long courses.
  • 85% of these courses were taken by high school students.
  • 23% of the courses taken were math, while 14% of the courses were science.
  • 64% of the online learning opportunities were to provide courses not available at a particular school.
  • 57% of the opportunities were to help students recover from missed or failed courses.
  • 40% of the courses provided students with AP or college-level courses.
  • 30% were available to reduce scheduling conflicts.
  • 25% were in place to help students with special needs or who were homebound.
  • 11 states offer online course choice programs.
  • In 2017 – 2018 school year, 21% of public schools and 13% of private schools offered at least one online course.
  • Of the schools that offered at least one online course, 81.9% were primary schools.
  • 3% of middle schools provided at least one online course, while only 53.8% of high schools provided this option.
  • Around 4.8% offered all courses online.
  • About 2.9% of schools offered half of their courses online.
  • In 2019 a total of 57% of all students in the United States were equipped with digital learning tools.
  • 45% were elementary students, 64% were middle school students, and 63% were high school students.
  • Administrators stated that up to 70% of online classes could be taken without any orientation.
  • In 2021, use of remote management apps for academic purposes increased by 87%.
  • The use of collaboration apps increased by 141%.
  • 40% of student device usage was spent on education platforms.
  • Full-time classes were available in 68% of high-income districts but only in 36% of schools with low-income students.
  • In 2021, 75% of US schools have planned to operate completely online.
  • 80% have purchased or are planning to purchase additional technology for students.

Tertiary eLearning Statistics

eLearning has always been more widely accepted at higher education institutions. Nevertheless, few have considered the exact numbers. Furthermore, the shift to online education on a national level has impacted the manner in which universities function as well.

  • In 2017, 33.5% of higher education students were enrolled in some form of distance or online learning.
  • 5% of undergraduate students took at least one course online.
  • 3% of students enrolled exclusively in distance learning schools.
  • In 2018, 23% of undergrads took business classes, while 19% took health and medicine.
  • In 2020, 84% of undergrads were enrolled in degree programs, while 16% were enrolled in certification or licensure programs.
  • 1% of post-baccalaureate students took at least one online course.
  • 9% were exclusively enrolled in distance learning schools.
  • In 2020, 77% of grad students were enrolled in degree programs while 23% were a part of certification or licensure programs.
  • 32% of students enrolled in public institutions took at least one distance learning course.
  • Overall, in 2017, 3.1 million students enrolled exclusively in distance education.
  • 7 million students were within the state they were enrolled in while 1.1 million were out of the state they were enrolled in.
  • 142,840 students were outside of the United States.
  • Since 2020, 98% of universities had moved classes online.
  • 46% of institutions offered independent or remote study options for foreign students.

Corporate eLearning Statistics

It isn’t just schools that have adopted eLearning – a number of corporations have also utilized this technology to help employees remain up-to-date. And, as the technology becomes more sophisticated an increasing number of novel tactics are being added as well.

  • Employees state that they learn 5 times more material via eLearning. Here are more employee training statistics.
  • 77% of US companies provide online learning opportunities.
  • This number was supposed to rise to 98% by 2020.
  • 67% of companies offered learning opportunities via mobile devices.
  • 99% of mobile users state their mobile learning enhances their experiences.

Educators Attitudes Towards eLearning

It is just as important to understand how educators feel about eLearning. This can go a long way in determining the efficacy of online education as well as determining at which points the system needs to improve as well.

  • Just 49% of professors see eLearning as being as effective as in-classroom instruction.
  • However, this attitude has improved by 10% in just a few months.
  • Over 33% of educators lack support for eLearning.
  • 71% of professors are concerned about increasing engagement in online classes.
  • 39% want to improve accessibility to online materials for students.
  • 33% admit that they need to redesign courses to fit online mediums.
  • 31% are concerned with improving student collaboration.

eLearning Effectiveness

There has been a great deal of conjecture regarding the effectiveness of eLearning. However, few have taken a look at the hard facts. The actual efficacy of eLearning is far more surprising than most would imagine.

  • 48% of undergrad and grad students felt like online learning was as effective as face-to-face instruction.
  • 37% of students felt that online learning was better than in-classroom lessons.
  • 15% of students stated that they weren’t as effective.
  • 42% of grad students compared to 30% of undergrads preferred online learning to in-classroom learning.
  • On average, students can retain 25% to 60% more information when learning online compared to 8% to 10% when in the classroom.
  • eLearning requires 40% to 60% less time learning than traditional classrooms.
  • However, 1 in 3 teachers are significantly less prepared for grade-level work.
  • The average student lost at least 1/3rd of a year in reading.
  • They lost at least 3/4th of a year in math.
  • Completion rates for online courses can be up to 22% lower for some students.
  • D and F grades are increasing as much as 30% for some middle school students with online learning.
  • In some regions, failing grades for online learning have increased by as much as 70%.
  • Students with disabilities have experienced failing grades by around 98%.

Barriers to eLearning

While eLearning appears to be poised to be the future of education, there are still a number of barriers regarding the system. It is vital that everyone involved appreciates the shortcomings to ensure that a better system is created for all.

  • In 2012, 55% of K–12 teachers reported not having enough of computers for students.
  • In 2015, 21% of middle school students and 13% of high school students didn’t have access to digital devices.
  • Only 34% to 48% of science teachers found the technology adequate for learning.
  • In 2020, 1 in 3 elementary school students will use a mobile device instead of a computer to complete classwork.
  • 1 in 3 families report not having an adequate space for a proper learning experience.
  • High minority schools were 50% less likely to high speed internet access than low minority schools.
  • Low-income schools and rural schools were 50% more likely to have slow internet access.
  • 25% of Black households and 23% of Hispanic households don’t have access to high-speed internet.
  • 20 states prohibit enrollment in online schools.
  • Nearly 25% of 15-year olds from disadvantaged backgrounds don’t have access to a computer.
  • In 2020, 63% of online instruction is perceived as being received worse.

eLearning Security and Privacy

As more students and teachers have moved towards eLearning, privacy and security has become a greater concern. Thus, it is important to appreciate the kind of issues that the average student, educator, and school may have to face.

  • The regular patch age for Microsoft Windows and Apple MacOS devices was 183 days and 31 days respectively.
  • 41% of schools had rogue VPNs and web proxy apps in their device environments.
  • On average, students spent an hour each day on websites with inappropriate content.
  • K–12 devices had an antivirus compliance rate of just 60%.

Due to the unique state of the world, a more conclusive picture of eLearning is available to all. As you will be able to see, there is far more to the subject than most people would imagine. In particular, the general landscape is quite different to what has been forecast in the past.

Currently, eLearning is the only viable education option for US students. It is helping to tide students over until physical schools can open. Nevertheless, the system is far from perfect. From wealth gaps to better teaching strategies, eLearning still has a long way to go before it can truly compete with traditional education.


[1] Statista, Share of K-12 Students in the United States Who Use Digital Learning Tools Daily in 2019, By School Level
[2] National Science Board, Science & Engineering Indicators 2018
[3] National Center for Education Statistics, Fast Facts: Distance Learning
[4] EdTech Magazine, 7 Telling Statistics About the State of K–12 Online Learning
[5] Education Data, Online Education Statistics
[6] The Markup, Kids Are “Failing” Online Learning
[7] World Economic Forum, The COVID-19 Pandemic Has Changed Education Forever. This is How
[8] Inside Higher Ed, Faculty Confidence in Online Learning Grows
[9] USA Today, Students are Falling Behind in Online School. Where’s the COVID-19 ‘Disaster Plan’ to Catch Them Up?
[10] Corporate Learning Network, Data That Proves the Continued Importance of Employee Learning
[11] MarketScale, Gaps in K-12 Device and Data Security Thanks to Distance Learning
[12] The University of Kansas School of Education & Human Sciences, The Evolution of Distance Education in 2020

Home > eLearning Statistics

6 thoughts on “eLearning Statistics”

  1. Thank you for this. Doing research for dissertation, and it’s been so hard to find factual data on the effectiveness of eLearning from a positive perspective. This helps!

  2. Thank you for putting together such a valuable resource on trends in eLearning. One of the statistics that really stood out for me was:

    “On average, students can retain 25% to 60% more information when learning online compared to 8% to 10% when in the classroom.”

    I was skeptical of this statistic so I did some Googling and it seems to have come from some research done by the Research Institute of America.

    Again, thanks for the time it must have taken to create this!

Leave a Comment