Achieving Online Learning Success; Contrasting Institutional Models
Concurrent Session 4
We know what constitutes student success in online education, but can we define institutional success online? This session compares different institutional models, based on the CHLOE surveys of chief online officers, and contrasts the organizational structures, goals, policies and practices of online enterprise-level, community-based, regional, and specialized programs.
Though sometimes hard to measure, there is little disagreement as to what constitutes student success in online education, but can we define institutional success and, if so, what are its characteristics? This session will identify and compare different institutional models emerging from the ongoing series of CHLOE surveys of chief online officers and contrast their organizational structures, goals, policies and practices. Models described will include the enterprise-level program, 2-year community-based program, the regional program, and the specialized program.
The CHLOE Survey, The Changing Landscape of Online Education, a joint effort of Quality Matters and Eduventures Research, is focused on tracking the management of online learning through the insights and experience of online learning leaders at the institution level, whom we call Chief Online Officers. Reports based on the survey identify patterns of online learning management on organizational structure, online learning formats, course and program development, technology choices, innovation, quality assurance, and accountability. In addition to discerning overall trends and dominant practices in each of these areas, CHLOE looks at institutions by control – 2-year and 4-year public institutions, 4-year private nonprofits, and 4-year for-profits – and by the size of their online student enrollment – large (more than 7,500 students taking some or all their courses online; mid sized (1,000 – 7,500 students) and small (under 1,000 students).
From these breakouts of the data, a number of different online learning models are becoming apparent. Institutions falling within each general model are naturally not entirely consistent over the range of choices they make in building and running their online programs, but each model exhibits prevailing practices that relate to goals, mandates, and resources. Since these choices are usually rational responses, adjusted over time to adapt to changing market conditions, resource constraints and the lessons of experience, they can be used to construct alternative models for success in shaping online learning to serve particular missions and make best use of resources. As CHLOE refines this typology, we believe that institutions wrestling with the challenges of developing and sustaining their particular brand of online learning will find them helpful in aligning their practices with those of like institutions.
This session will compare and contrast four institutional models, based on their distinct approaches to online learning: 1) The community-based program typical of most community and 2-year technical colleges and some private non-profit institutions; 2) The regional program typical of many 4-year public and private institutions with regional reputations and ambitions; 3) The specialized program in which institutions focus their online program on one or several areas of competence, e.g., nursing, business, engineering, etc.; and 4) The large, enterprise-level program, public or private, seeking a national online student body, across a wide array of program areas. For each model, the session will compare their management, budgeting, course and program development, and commitment to innovation to each other and to the CHLOE sample as a whole.
Attendees will be able to determine where their institution might fit and to compare their policies and practices to those exhibited in the relevant model or models. Informal polling during the session will seek to identify the relevance of these models to the participants.