New Business Models for Higher Education — from David Collis, Yale University [via Educause]

Collis assesses the new higher education marketplace, replete with distance learning courses offered online. He reviews the business models of dozens of for-profit Internet based firms entering the higher education market, compares their strategies with those of traditional colleges and universities, and projects the effects of the new entrants on established institutions. Collis concludes that the new firms will move more quickly along a technology-enabled learning trajectory, which in the end will put them at a distinct advantage when they move from their most common point of entry — the corporate market — into the traditional higher education realm.

Traditional schools grow online — from by D.C. Denison
Students lured by cachet of brick-and-mortar schools’ reputations


The best-known online players include the University of Phoenix, Walden, and Capella University, with the for-profit Phoenix’s current enrollment of 476,500 students making it the biggest university in North America.

But the brick-and-mortar competition is catching up, from the likes of Northeastern University, Lesley University, and Boston University, while smaller institutions, such as Southern New Hampshire University, in Manchester, are promoting online programs, too.

“It’s hard to think of a college that’s not building its online capability,’’ said Carol Aslanian, a senior vice president of market research at EducationDynamics LLC, a marketing firm that specializes in higher education.

The future of colleges and universities -- from the spring of 2010 by futurist Thomas Frey

From Spring 2010

From DSC:

If you are even remotely connected to higher education, then you *need* to read this one!

Most certainly, not everything that Thomas Frey says will take place…but I’ll bet you he’s right on a number of accounts. Whether he’s right or not, the potential scenarios he brings up ought to give us pause to reflect on ways to respond to these situations…on ways to spot and take advantage of the various opportunities that arise (which will only happen to those organizations who are alert and looking for them).

Quote from “More on teaching with iPods: Preserving tradition and culture” — Atomic Learning

Technology and tradition are not mutually exclusive (emphasis DSC). In reality, the former can greatly augment the preservation of the latter. As we like to say at Atomic Learning, embracing technology empowers us. “

From DSC:
And I would add to that, technology is not anti-relational — these two things are not mutually exclusive either. (Consider Facebook, MySpace, NING,
and a myriad of technology-based means of communications.)

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On page 7 of 29 (actual page is page 3) of “Learning on Demand: Online Education in the United States, 2009”:

Learning On Demand: Online Learning 2009

Background: The perception of chief academic officers of faculty acceptance of online teaching and learning has changed little in the last six years.

The evidence: While the number of programs and courses online continue to grow, the acceptance of this learning modality by faculty has been relatively constant since first measured in 2002.

  • Less than one-third of chief academic officers believe that their faculty accept the value and legitimacy of online education. This percent has changed little over the last six years.
  • The proportion of chief academic officers that report their faculty accept online education varies widely by type of school but reaches a majority in none.

From DSC:
Why is this I wonder…?

  • Is it because they didn’t grow up with these technologies and therefore, don’t believe in their promise/effectiveness? (I can understand that. )
  • Is it due to lack of proper incentive systems? (I can appreciate that as well.)
  • Are there fears involved? (I can understand that. )
  • Is it because power/control needs to be shared — i.e. it requires more of  a team-based approach to do it well?
  • Is it because it’s a lot of work to get on board the elearning train?
  • Is it due to lack of interest?
  • Is it because us instructional technologists and instructional designers haven’t done a good enough job in making the case for online learning?


  • Have these faculty members actually gone back to school anytime recently in order to take an online course and to give this learning modality a shot?
  • Do such viewpoints serve the students, universities, colleges well?


  • Granted, online learning is not for everybody, but for those who are successful at it, they are WELL positioned for the future.
  • Also…I’m not seeing nearly the pace of innovation in the face-to-face world as I’m seeing in the online/networked world (10,000 heads are better than 1).
  • Online learning has just begun to hit its stride.
  • It won’t be long before folks value and respect online learning moreso than strictly traditional face-to-face learning.  (Personally, I’m more and more sold on the hybrid model as a “heavy lifter” within our learning ecosystems — due to its ability to bring together the best of both of these teaching and learning worlds.)

I’m sorry if this is too heavy handed…but I’m tired of faculty dogging something they, themselves, haven’t given a fair chance. In future postings, I’ll attempt to provide some compelling evidence to help back up why I’m pro-online learning as well as pro-hybrid learning.

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