ExtensionEngine Blog

Three Regrets Institutions May Have When Signing with an Online Program Manager (OPM)

As we enter 2019, many institutions that have tiptoed around the digital landscape are coming to grips with the realization that online learning is almost certainly in their future, one way or another. One driver is declining overall enrollments; the latest statistics show a drop of 90,000 students — or a half of a percentage point — during 2017, the most recent period for which we have data. At the same time, enrollments in online learning increased by 350,000, or 5.7%.

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How to choose an Online Program Manager (OPM)

It used to be simple. If a university wanted to create an online program, they had two choices. One was to outsource to an Online Program Manager (OPM). The other was to do it in-house. Neither was perfect, but both had advantages.

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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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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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