Welcome!

Cloud Expo Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Manuel Weiss, Richard Moulds, Martin Etmajer

News Feed Item

Serving the 21st Century Online Learner: MOOCs Grabbed Attention, Now Universities Need to Keep It

Online learning has hit its awkward "teen" phase: nothing fits, friendships are tenuous, and fear of missing out abounds; The Parthenon Group's Education Practice serves as "guidance counselor"

BOSTON, Feb. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- When it comes to online learning in higher education, student demand calls for more personalized approaches than the MOOCs dominating headlines. Success in this new world involves tailored, blended strategies, according to a new paper from The Parthenon Group examining how best to serve the 21st century student.

"The world needs a more responsive education system with online offerings a high priority, though MOOCs are but one part of the equation," said Haven Ladd, a partner in the firm's Education Practice and author of the paper. "We've yet to see many institutions develop sustainable financial models for an online degree program that strikes the correct harmony of meeting the needs of target students and a school's mission and resources."

Based on a recent qualitative study of over 100 post-secondary institutions, The Parthenon Group's Education Practice has articulated the top five lessons for universities.

  1. Students are demanding online courses, and the majority of institutions have responded by offering them. Demand represents two things for the growing population of online learners: a continued desire to use technology to learn and an increased comfort using technology. While supply continues to grow, demand for online programs remains impressive and positive – with 87% of digitally inclined master's students confident in their online learning. This paves the way for universities and colleges – for-profit and non-profit – to expand institutional reach and impact via online programs.

  2. Online programs are not just for adult learners seeking master's degrees. While master's programs are often a gateway to a school's virtual offerings, they represent only one-third of today's online programs. Although online enrollments are highest for graduate students, there are two million bachelor's students expected to join the undergraduate presence over the next eight years. "With online options more readily available and cost efficient, multi-million-dollar campus expansion projects could become unnecessary," Ladd points out. "Why build on the ground when you can build in the cloud?"

  3. Online students need fundamentally different support services from on-campus students. Because withdrawal rates are higher for online learners versus traditional students, institutions contemplating expansion into the online learning space must be prepared to build, secure, and maintain critical infrastructure needed to support this new learning community. The number of students walking through any school's virtual doors on day one may increase, but the number graduating won't be the same unless schools effectively engage and adapt to the differentiated needs of online students. Appropriate management must be implemented, or schools risk losing students and credibility.

  4. MOOCs could present a challenge to the traditional institution revenue model – lack of clarity now means room for opportunity. The right business model is exactly what the show-stopping MOOCs of 2012 are trying to figure out in 2013. "The lack of clarity in MOOC monetization is an opportunity for traditional higher education entities to take control of their online learning strategies and capitalize on the qualities for which MOOCs are quickly trying to compensate: a network of academics and degree credibility," Ladd said. "With a rising demand for online learning at all levels, the question is not whether universities should go online, but when and how to do so."

  5. Online for online's sake is not a strategy – schools must articulate and pursue deliberate objectives related to online learning. As more universities dip their toes into the MOOC testing pool, The Parthenon Group maintains that universities must respond to student demand in order to be competitive and relevant. Many education leaders agree that it is important to have an online strategy but fail to articulate a viable one. Strategic objectives may include financial sustainability, tuition reduction, increasing effective capacity, enhancing intellectual and societal impact, and responding to student demand.

"It is time for the bedrocks of post-secondary education to seize the opportunity to refresh their strategies and reengage a 21st -century learning world," said Ladd. "For an online strategy to leave its awkward and insecure stage and mature, institutions have to realize their own strengths and weaknesses and tailor their online programs accordingly. By customizing online learning based on school's missions and resources, universities will succeed in this new – and permanent – education landscape." 

About The Parthenon Group

The Parthenon Group is a leading advisory firm focused on strategy consulting with offices in Boston, London, Mumbai, San Francisco, and Shanghai. Since its inception in 1991, the firm has embraced a unique approach to strategic advisory services built on long-term client relationships, a willingness to share risk, an entrepreneurial spirit, and customized insights. This unique approach has established the firm as the strategic advisor of choice for CEOs and business leaders of Global 1000 corporations, high-potential growth companies, private equity firms, educational institutions, and healthcare organizations.

Contact: Sara Beth Joren, [email protected], 212-220-4444 

SOURCE The Parthenon Group

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Cloud Expo Breaking News
Cloud Computing is evolving into a Big Three of Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure. Cloud 360: Multi-Cloud Bootcamp, being held Nov 4–5, 2014, in conjunction with 15th Cloud Expo in Santa Clara, CA, delivers a real-world demonstration of how to deploy and configure a scalable and available web application on all three platforms. The Cloud 360 Bootcamp, led by Janakiram MSV, an analyst with Gigaom Research, is the first bootcamp that introduces the core concepts of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) based on the workings of the Big Three platforms – Amazon EC2, Google Compute Engine, and Azure VMs. Bootcamp attendees will get to see the big picture and also receive the knowledge needed to make the best cloud decisions for their business applications and entire enterprise IT organization.
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
The Internet of Things is a natural complement to the cloud and related technologies such as Big Data, analytics, and mobility. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Joe Weinman will lay out four generic strategies – digital disciplines – to exploit emerging digital technologies for strategic advantage. Joe Weinman has held executive leadership positions at Bell Labs, AT&T, Hewlett-Packard, and Telx, in areas such as corporate strategy, business development, product management, operations, and R&D.
SYS-CON Events announced today that DevOps.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's “DevOps Summit at Cloud Expo,” which will take place on June 10–12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. DevOps.com is where the world meets DevOps. It is the largest collection of original content relating to DevOps on the web today Featuring up-to-the-minute news, feature stories, blogs, bylined articles and more, DevOps.com is where the thought leaders of the DevOps movement make their ideas known.
There are 182 billion emails sent every day, generating a lot of data about how recipients and ISPs respond. Many marketers take a more-is-better approach to stats, preferring to have the ability to slice and dice their email lists based numerous arbitrary stats. However, fundamentally what really matters is whether or not sending an email to a particular recipient will generate value. Data Scientists can design high-level insights such as engagement prediction models and content clusters that allow marketers to cut through the noise and design their campaigns around strong, predictive signals, rather than arbitrary statistics. SendGrid sends up to half a billion emails a day for customers such as Pinterest and GitHub. All this email adds up to more text than produced in the entire twitterverse. We track events like clicks, opens and deliveries to help improve deliverability for our customers – adding up to over 50 billion useful events every month. While SendGrid data covers only abo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that the Web Host Industry Review has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Since 2000, The Web Host Industry Review has made a name for itself as the foremost authority of the Web hosting industry providing reliable, insightful and comprehensive news, reviews and resources to the hosting community. TheWHIR Blogs provides a community of expert industry perspectives. The Web Host Industry Review Magazine also offers a business-minded, issue-driven perspective of interest to executives and decision-makers. WHIR TV offers on demand web hosting video interviews and web hosting video features of the key persons and events of the web hosting industry. WHIR Events brings together like-minded hosting industry professionals and decision-makers in local communities. TheWHIR is an iNET Interactive property.
SYS-CON Events announced today that O'Reilly Media has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Verizon has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Verizon Enterprise Solutions creates global connections that generate growth, drive business innovation and move society forward. With industry-specific solutions and a full range of global wholesale offerings provided over the company's secure mobility, cloud, strategic networking and advanced communications platforms, Verizon Enterprise Solutions helps open new opportunities around the world for innovation, investment and business transformation. Visit verizonenterprise.com to learn more.
SYS-CON Events announced today that TMCnet has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Technology Marketing Corporation (TMC) is the world's leading business to business and integrated marketing media company, servicing niche markets within the communications and technology industries.
"In my session I spoke about enterprise cloud analytics and how we can leverage analytics as a service," explained Ajay Budhraja, CTO at the Department of Justice, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 14th International Cloud Expo®, held June 10-12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City. Cloud Expo® 2014 Silicon Valley, November 4–6, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading Cloud industry players in the world.
“We are starting to see people move beyond the commodity cloud and enterprises need to start focusing on additional value added services in order to really drive their adoption," explained Jason Mondanaro, Director of Product Management at MetraTech, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 14th International Cloud Expo®, held June 10-12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City. Cloud Expo® 2014 Silicon Valley, November 4–6, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading Cloud industry players in the world.
"We are automated capacity control software, which basically looks at all the supply and demand and running a virtual cloud environment and does a deep analysis of that and says where should things go," explained Andrew Hillier, Co-founder & CTO of CiRBA, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 14th International Cloud Expo®, held June 10-12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City. Cloud Expo® 2014 Silicon Valley, November 4–6, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading Cloud industry players in the world.
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mac Devine, Distinguished Engineer at IBM, will discuss bringing these three elements together via Systems of Discover.
The Internet of Things promises to transform businesses (and lives), but navigating the business and technical path to success can be difficult to understand. In his session at 15th Internet of @ThingsExpo, Chad Jones, Vice President, Product Strategy of LogMeIn's Xively IoT Platform, will show you how to approach creating broadly successful connected customer solutions using real world business transformation studies including New England BioLabs and more.
All too many discussions about DevOps conclude that the solution is an all-purpose player: developer and operations guru, complete with pager for round-the-clock duty. For most organizations that is not the way forward. In his session at DevOps Summit, Bernard Golden, Vice President of Strategy at ActiveState, will discuss how to achieve the agility and speed of end-to-end automation without requiring an organization stocked with Supermen and Superwomen.