Mar 16, 2019
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Five Myths About Online Program Management

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I have a confession to make. Over a five-year period, dozens of presidents have helped and offered programs designed, launched and marketed online certificates. Almost all of them were funded through agreements that require the university to share more than 50 percent of its tuition revenue to develop, market and enroll students in its Online Management program.

Over the years, I realized that in a hurry to transfer online courses, the revenue sharing model has enhanced an online learning methodology that has often led to disincentives in a way that allows quality and income to rise before results. The dean of one of the top 20 business schools told me this way:

“I’m not giving you 50 per cent of income and I do not need all of your services, and it seems that your key value is marketing support.” The creation of high quality presentations and the provision of a teaching support design for faculty members is what is most important to us, not the standard, I need to be able to choose the services I need on request and pay for that service. “

1. One Size Fits All

OPMs tell colleges that they need the entire package. But subcontracting in program design, marketing, registration, and maintaining operational support is only enough for a small part of the market. Only 12 percent of higher education institutions are actively associated with one of nearly 35 OPM in the current market. Some organizations have the ability to design instructional design and launch high-quality online training courses, but lack digital marketing capabilities to scale them up. Others need back office support for registry management.

The OPM model works because the high margin parts of the package (such as marketing and registration services) compensate for the cost of designing the software. But margins, in turn, have pressed most OPMs to simplify and guide the process of developing courses or programs online. Although there is no difference in quality, revenue sharing agreements to fund online programs are not integrated with the type of approach to learning and educational design that represents the highest quality online. .

2. Free Money?

Part of what makes revenue sharing agreements so attractive is the attractiveness of enrollment growth without an increase in fixed costs. But higher education institutions often overlook the financial and administrative pressures of the OPM agreements on human capital. Institutions typically absorb the costs associated with hiring new teachers, campaign reductions or overpayments for the development of the course. Most colleges and universities also provide the operational capability to lead the implementation of the partnership, as well as provide additional back office support.

Also think about intangible costs. College and university officials often spend enormous political capital to push OPM initiatives. If institutional procurement fails along the ranks, managers may lose teachers’ confidence and harm labor relations, which may hamper the potential of other new initiatives.

3. All Programs Are Created Equal

For colleges and universities that think of an online experience, low-performing programs are often the most attractive. They create less risk of disassembling face-to-face inscriptions and can increase a limited audience. OPMs, in many cases, are more than happy to promote these assumptions. Why? It has proven that a few programs are profitable for the OPM, such as nursing or master’s degree in education or a master’s degree in business administration. Recent preferences include a master’s degree in science in data science or data analysis. Leadership degrees or bachelor’s degrees in interdisciplinary studies are rarely measured online. But in today’s highly competitive environment, providers are hiring people with poor performance to access programs of this size, because there is only a high-demand Online Management program that can recover all losses associated with others.

Service providers know that once an institution has a long-term binding contract (often at the expense of large social and political capital), it is difficult for the college or university to withdraw from the agreement if the registrations do not meet the requirements. Outlook.

4. Instructional Design Is a Commodity

In most colleges and universities, technology is no longer a strategic priority. Lack of capacity and knowledge of technology creates operational challenges that make outsourcing of online courses and software development attractive. But most OPMs retain only a small instructional design team and assign responsibility for work to faculty members of the organization.

Teachers’ doubts about income sharing agreements are partly due to concerns about academic integrity or the commercialization of their intellectual property. But teachers also know that building a training course, even with support for instructional design, can take from 80 to 100 hours. Most providers do not invest in educational design because the basic economic agreement does not reward them for adapting their approach to a particular college or university. An inscription, not an educational design, is the vital element of the agreement for both the enterprise and the provider. As a result, most of their resources go to marketing rather than designing highly effective online programs.

  1. Online Is the Only Way to Go

The OPM model relies on online registration to promote revenue growth, yet corporate objectives can be better achieved through a mixed or mixed approach to online learning. At present, more colleges and universities are looking for shared and inverted classrooms to serve the “traditional” student body, which increasingly wants a technology-rich learning experience. OPMs have always focused on non-traditional students, who are usually more inclined to take full online programs. Institutions will be crazy to share the income of programs that support existing students.

Integrated or mixed software does not work well with existing OPM models because of the geographical constraints that create these requirements. Management courses Schedules. Integrated methods that can complement current initiatives or improve results tend to generate income that OPMs expect.


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