ExtensionEngine Blog

Mike DiPietro

Recent Posts

Think like a product company

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“Online learning businesses have it all wrong—they are not thinking like a product company.”

Every day, we speak to universities, nonprofits and corporations who are looking to put their training or education online with the goal of generating revenue, creating impact or influencing an audience. And these conversations are very similar – people usually anchor their thinking to the existing and ask “how do we create an online course.”

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ExtensionEngine Named One of Eduventures EdTech Companies to Watch

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We’re delighted to learn that ExtensionEngine has been included as one of Eduventures’ EdTech Companies to Watch.

At ExtensionEngine, we are shifting the conversation about online learning. We challenge institutions to think beyond the limitations of out-of-the-box learning technology and cookie-cutter courses created by revenue sharing engagements with online program managers (OPM). For those who create courses in-house, we encourage them to avoid limiting online learning and pedagogy to what traditional LMS solutions and off-the-shelf 

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Poll: Biggest challenges for developing online programs — and opinions on viable solutions

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This week, I had the pleasure of conducting a webinar with Howard Lurie, Principal Analyst, Adult and Online Learning at Eduventures. The topic was Building Online Programs Without an OPM.

Conventional OPMs, estimated to be used by about 15-20% of universities in the U.S., are a popular option to outsource online degree program development, management, and marketing in return for a share of the revenue. In the webinar, we discussed the pros and cons of this model and also introduced an alternative model: professional services firms (e.g., ExtensionEngine).

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Developing the Minimum Lovable Course for External Training

We would like to bring your attention to a webinar we recently presented with one of our clients, Fitch Learning. The webinar, Choosing a Platform for Revenue-Generating Online Training, provides a succinct and understandable breakdown of when to develop a custom learning experience — such as those we create — versus relying solely on a traditional learning management system (LMS).

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What Does the Purdue - Kaplan Deal Mean to Other Top Tier Universities?

The bombshell hit last week - Purdue University was acquiring Kaplan University.

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We ought to put this online...

Please, not another “we ought to put this online” idea….

Recently we’ve been speaking with companies that deliver training and generate revenue from it. Most of these companies deliver this training in-person. They’ve done it this way for years, they know how to get students, deliver the training and generate good revenue. And when we suggest to them that they think about moving it online, we often hear “No! We’ve tried that and it didn’t work. It was hard. The students didn’t like the experience. We never got the results we hoped for. I am not going there again.”

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Online Learning without Revenue Sharing? [Webinar Recap]

ExtensionEngine teamed up with Eduventures to present a webinar on “Online Learning without Revenue Sharing.” What did we learn? Well first, we learned you can cover a lot of ground in 30 minutes if you speak fast and stay focused. We love short webinars — they are better learning experiences. We also learned that many of those who attended were excited to learn about the fee-for-service and a la carte models. The OPM model, which has dominated online learning in higher education for many years, is changing — new entrants, new approaches, and new demands from institutions.

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Is the OPM model dead?

A few weeks ago, The Atlantic published an excellent article on OPMs. The article was critical of both the revenue share model and marketing techniques OPMs use on behalf of not-for-profit higher education institutions. As a leading provider of custom learning experiences to higher education, an alternative to OPMs, we share this point of view.

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