Considerations for Online Course Enrollments

Topics: Community College, Online Education, Academic Affairs, Capacity Planning, Academic Planning

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Research Questions

  • How do institutions determine course capacities for both online and face-to-face courses? 
  • How do capacities differ according to discipline? 
  • How does student success differ among modes of instruction and class size? 
  • What measures do institutions take to ensure equitable faculty workload for courses of different sizes and modes of instruction?


As institutions increasingly look to online offerings, they must consider how to effectively determine capacity limits for these courses.  Administrators also must review the differences inherent in the online mode of instruction in terms of faculty workload.  This brief examines how institutions determine enrollment capacities for both online and face-to-face courses, how equitable workload for instructors of different sizes and styles is established, and what differences in student success are present between online and face-to-face classes.

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