ExtensionEngine Blog

Use a traditional OPM, or you could simply light a pile of money on fire

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Recently I have had separate in-depth talks with high level administrators and faculty leaders at multiple schools—public and private, large and small, coastal and middle-of-the country—where the obvious conclusions, usually unspoken, were reached by all in the conversation. The difference was, each of these times the conclusions were spoken out loud:

One said “A school can work with a traditional revenue-sharing OPM if its goal is to simply get online. But given the financial implications of such a partnership, it would be just as effective but faster and put much less of a burden on faculty for the school to simply pile up a bunch of money in the middle of a room and light it on fire.”

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Shifting the Conversation

Screen Shot 2017-08-15 at 1.24.55 PM.pngThe value of online program management (OPM) companies is much debated these days. The piece at the top of everyone’s minds is a highly critical report produced by The Century Foundation which suggests these profit-driven companies “present potential risks to quality and value in the education.”

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Rethinking the Bundle

Here’s a thought we ran into recently in an article in Edsurge regarding the future of online learning development:

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Online Learning Insights from the University of Chicago

It’s always gratifying to read an article that validates your position and provides evidence that you have, indeed, been making the right decisions and are providing a valuable and much-needed service.

For us, one such publication is a recent white paper, Report on Coursera online course for University of Chicago and Booth School of Business written by John H. Cochrane. The white paper enumerates various “lessons learned” from Cochrane’s venture into online course development as he adapted a Ph.D. level course, Asset Pricing, for the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) environment.

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Overcoming faculty and administration concerns of traditional OPMs

 Here at ExtensionEngine, we create custom learning experiences. These are online and blended courses and programs that are custom designed specifically for each client. We work on a fee-for-service basis and never get involved in either revenue sharing or our client’s intellectual property concerns.

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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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