Online Learning: Where is the Money?

by Jim Farmer, e-Literate

MIT offers their MITx online courses and certificates for a price, Stanford offers some online courses free, and Utah State University professor Wiley provides successful students with letters confirming course completion. But offering online learning has failed many using these business models. Cambridge, Chicago, Cornell, Michigan, New York and Oxford, Stanford, Temple and Yale Universities, University of Maryland University College and the London School of Economics all terminated their online courses for financial reasons. They were all started assuming student tuition and fees would pay for both the cost of operation and for developing very effective, high quality course materials. As Case Western Vice President for Information Services Lev Gonick summarized: ”University presidents got dollars in their eyes and figured the way the university was going to ride the dot-com wave was through distance learning.”

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