Important success factors for European Megaproviders of Online Education

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Presentation at the Megatrends workshop at the EDEN 2007 Conference in Naples, June 15, 2007.

Presentation at the Megatrends workshop at the EDEN 2007 Conference in Naples, June 15, 2007.

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  • 1. Important Success Factors for European Megaproviders of Online Education Morten Flate Paulsen, NKI Distance Education The slides are available via: http:// home.nettskolen.com/~morten / Introduction to a 90-minutes Workshop at the EDEN 2007 Annual Conference, June 15, Naples, Italy.
  • 2. Agenda
    • Presentation of the Megatrends project focusing on important success factors and reasons for failures identified by the project By Morten Flate Paulsen (20 minutes)
    • Important success factors at two German megaproviders By Paul Rühl and Rolf Granow (20 minutes)
    • Important success factors at a Spanish mega provider By Pedro Michels (10 minutes)
    • Important success factors at the four Norwegian megaproviders By Jan Atle Toska (15 minutes)
    • Panel discussion of important success factors and reasons for failure Chaired by Morten Flate Paulsen (25 minutes)
  • 3. Project assumptions
    • The most evident mega trend in online education today is the development from small-scale experiments to large-scale operations .
    • Successful online education should be sustainable. It is therefore of great concern that much of the online education that has been offered so far has been transient, unsuccessful and far from sustainable. A lot of it has been supported by external funding and ended when the external funding stopped. Enormous amounts of money have more or less been wasted. It is therefore important to study initiatives that lack sustainability and understand some of the reasons for this .
  • 4. Project Partners and Country Reports www.nettskolen.com/in_english/megatrends/workpackage3.html
    • NKI: Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands
    • DEI: Ireland, United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Luxembourg
    • E-University: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic
    • UOC: Spain, Portugal, Italy, Malta, Greece
    • EDEN: Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia
    • Norgesuniversitetet: Norway
    • BUTE: Austria, Cyprus
  • 5. The Research Methodology
    • Starting with success factors presented in the book: Online education and Learning Management Systems ( www.studymentor.com )
    • The project set out to identify the European Mega-Providers of e-learning using strict criteria for qualification.
    • The project has analyzed 25 megaproviders on the causes of their robustness, sustainability and achievement of critical mass.
    • The results of the analyses will be written up and published for the benefit of e-learning institutions and other providers throughout Europe.
  • 6. Criteria for Nominations
    • The project has identified, surveyed and analyzed 25 European mega providers of e-learning. The criteria for qualification were:
    • · It concentrates on e- learning situations with more than 5000 course enrolments per year or more than 100 courses on offer on any one time.
    • · It focuses on distance education and does not include the use of e-learning for on-campus students. At least 51% of a program must be online to qualify.
    • · It does not include corporate e-learning from a base outside Europe.
  • 7. How the Megaproviders were identified
    • Country reports
    • Nomination form at the project’s website
    • The researchers’ personal and institutional networks
    • Newsletters and conferences
    • EDEN
    • EADL
    • EADTU
  • 8. List of nominees sorted by country
    • Bit media (Austria)
    • University of Liège (Belgium)
    • University of Hradec Kralove (Czechia)
    • University of Tartu (Estonia)
    • Virtuelle Hochschule Bayern (Germany)
    • Oncampus (Germany)
    • Hungarian Telecom (Hungary)
    • Dennis Gabor College (Hungary)
    • Scuola IaD (Italy)
    • Riga Technical University (Latvia)
    • Open Universiteit Nederland (Netherlands)
    • NKI (Norway)
    • BI (Norway)
    • NKS (Norway)
    • Sør-trøndelag University College (Norway)
    • Universitat de Barcelona Virtual (Spain)
    • Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (Spain)
    • Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (Spain)
    • Universidad de Las Palmas (Spain)
    • CEPADE (Spain)
    • Lund University (Sweden)
    • Learn Direct (UK)
    • Manchester Metropolitan University (UK)
    • Staffordshire University (UK)
    • The Open University (UK)
    • The University of Leicester (UK)
    • The University of Ulster (UK)
    The complete list with further information is available at: www.nettskolen.com/in_english/megatrends/nominated.html
  • 9. Institutions that were not included
    • Two private DE institutions not willing to provide data
      • Leidse onderwijsinstellingen www.loi.nl
      • Markkinointi www.markinst.fi
    • Distinguished members of EADTU not meeting the criteria?
      • France: Centre National d'Enseignement à Distance (CNED)
      • Germany: FernUniversität in Hagen
      • Italy: Network per l'Universita Ovunque (Nettuno / UniNettuno)
  • 10. Preliminary Top Ten Nominees by 2005 Course Enrolments www.nettskolen.com/in_english/megatrends/nominated.html
    • Learn Direct 400000 Pub. C
    • Universitat Oberta de Catalunya 94000 Pub/Priv D
    • Open Universiteit Nederland 44432 Pub. D
    • bit media e-Learning solution 32000 ??????
    • Virtuelle Hochschule Bayern 20000 Pub. U
    • Manchester Metropolitan University 15000 Pub. U
    • Universidad Politécnica de Madrid 14000 Pub. U
    • Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria 12237 Pub. U
    • NKI Distance Education 12217 Priv. D
    • Staffordshire University 12000 Pub. U
    • C=Corporate, D=Distance education, U=University or College
  • 11. Learn Direct
    • brand name of the University for Industry (UfI) in the UK set up by the government in 1998.
    • largest provider of e-Learning in Europe with 500.000 students per year. One of the largest e-learning networks in the world.
    • Businesses, voluntary organisations, colleges and community centres run centres on behalf of Ufi. There are centres in shopping malls, schools, colleges, football clubs and prisons.
    • In 2003, Learn Direct took on responsibility for co-ordinating the network of 6,000 UK online centres located across the country in libraries, internet cafes, community centres and village halls.
    • Around 90% of the population in England live within 40 minutes’ walk of a Learn Direct or UK online centre.
  • 12. Categories of Megaproviders
    • Distance Education Institutions (7)
    • Corporate Training Providers (5)
    • Universities and Colleges - including Consortia (13)
  • 13. Distance Education Institutions
    • Open Universiteit Nederland (OUNL)
    • The Open University of the United Kingdom
    • NKI Distance Education (Norway)
    • Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (Spain)
    • UNED - Universidad Nacional de Educaión a Distancia
    • NKS (Norway)
    • Dennis Gabor College (Hungary)
  • 14. Corporate Training Providers
    • CrossKnowledge
    • Learn Direct
    • ÉLOGOS
    • EDHEC Business School Lille-Nice
    • Hungarian Telecom
  • 15. Universities and Colleges Including Consortia
    • Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
    • Universidad Politécnica de Madrid-GATE
    • The University of Leicester
    • The University of Ulster
    • Manchester Metropolitan University
    • Staffordshire University
    • Sør-Trøndelag University College
    • University of Tartu
    • BI Norwegian School of Management, Distance Education Centre
    • Scuola IaD, University of Rome Tor Vergata
    • Bavarian Virtual University (BVU)
    • OnCampus
    • The Virtual Campus of the University of Liège
  • 16. Hypothesis: Robust and sustainable online education is based on 25:
    • Historical factors
    • Technical factors
    • Course factors
    • Management and strategy factors
    • Economic factors
    • www.nettskolen.com/in_english/megatrends/Factors.pdf
  • 17. Findings from Ratings
    • Three independent researchers rated each of the 25 factors on a scale from
    • 5 = very much true to 1 = very little true
    • Conclusions:
      • The analyzes confirm that the factors are important
      • All factors are not important for all institutions
      • The variations in ratings are relatively small
  • 18. 5 = very much true to 1 = very little true
  • 19.  
  • 20.  
  • 21.  
  • 22.  
  • 23.  
  • 24. Matrix Model for Text Analyses   Distance Education Inst. Universities and Colleges Corporate Training Providers Historical factors       Technical factors       Course factors       Management factors       Economical factors       Additional factors      
  • 25. Additional Important Success Factors (1)
    • Almost 60% of the institutions mention other factors than the 25 originally hypothesized factors.
    • This implies that additional factors are not without importance for the larger picture.
    • For some of the institutions, the additional factors are also listed among the five most important factors.
  • 26. Additional Important Success Factors (2)
    • Most of the additional factors are mentioned by only one institution.
    • Thus, they are not clustered around one or a few key factors. Rather, the general picture is that a multitude of different factors seems to be operating.
    • This lends support to the interpretation that there are different ways to become a megaprovider and/or that different external factors impose different developmental routes.
  • 27. Additional Important Success Factors (3)
    • Good marketing is mentioned by two institutions. So is also having a well known brand name , which also is important when doing marketing. Thus, the marketing aspect may indeed be an important factor.
    • In addition, having had enthusiasts that worked to promote online teaching in an early phase is mentioned by three institutions, suggesting that also this factor should be added to a list of factors that may be important for becoming a megaprovider.
  • 28. e-learning initiatives that did not reach their targeted goals
    • The project also studies important e-learning initiatives that did not reach targeted goals.
    • It is concerned about e-learning initiatives which collapsed and faded away when the initial project funding was withdrawn, and initiatives that were launched with much political hype but failed and were closed, often with the loss of much taxpayers’ money.
  • 29. Online Education Obituaries
    • The initial resource for this work was Online Education Obituaries, www.studymentor.com/studymentor/Obituaries.pdf
    • Many governmental initiatives have not been available
    • Consortia are often not sustainable
    • Many commercial and investor driven initiatives have failed
    • Boardroom initiatives often fail
    • Several high profile international ventures have been discontinued because of unhealthy economy.
    • An updated list of resources and links to further information: www.nettskolen.com/in_english/megatrends/workpackage6.html
  • 30. Preliminary, alphabetical list of analyzed discontinued initiatives www.nettskolen.com/in_english/megatrends/workpackage6.html
    • Alliance for Lifelong Learning USA&UK 2000-2006 $12M
    • Bedriftsuniversitetet Norway 2002-2003
    • California Virtual University USA 1997-1999 $6M
    • IT Fornebu Norway 9M Euro 1998-2001
    • NKN Norway 7-14M Euro 2000-2002
    • SWI Hungary 1999-2005
    • UK E-University UK £50M 2000-2004
    • United States Open University USA $27M 1998-2002
    • A lot of mostly public funding wasted
    • Dot com babies
    • New enterprises with limited history and experience in e-learning
    • Several consortia, partly competing with its member institutions
    • Some dependant on external course providers
  • 31. Additional candidates
    • Winix (Norway)
    • Danish Virtual University (Denmark)
    • ????
  • 32. The Alliance for Lifelong Learning
    • The Alliance for Lifelong Learning was founded in 2000 by:
      • Stanford University from California, USA,
      • Oxford University from Oxford, England,
      • Yale University of New Haven, Connecticut, USA
      • Princeton University of New Jersey, USA.
    • It commenced with a 12 M $ budget
    • It ceased activities in late 2005 and was officially closed in March 2006.
    • The official reason was that the cost of offering top-quality enrichment courses at affordable prices was not sustainable over time.
  • 33. California Virtual University (1)
    • California Virtual University (CVU) was a high profile venture with a dismal history. It was launched in April 1997 as a joint project of:
      • the University of California,
      • California State University,
      • California Community Colleges
      • the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities.
  • 34. California Virtual University (2)
    • In April 1999, Stephen Downes wrote an analysis claiming that the CVU dream lay in ruins. In his analysis, he stated:
    • "While on the one hand this is just another story of an unprofitable enterprise biting the dust, on the other hand it is a story of wider impact because CVU was seen in some quarters as a model for the future. The failure will affect online learning in general, and the reasons for the collapse attributed to weaknesses in the medium as a whole".
  • 35. Help us improve the list of discontinued initiatives
    • We would like to get the list as complete and correct as possible. Therefore we request help to identify additional institutions that should be listed.
    • We also appreciate feedback if you have information of interest regarding the listed initiatives.
    • Please contribute to the project blog or contact:
    • Morten Flate Paulsen, [email_address]
  • 36. More Information about theses Case Studies www.nettskolen.com/in_english/megatrends/workpackage4.html 950 94000 Universitat Oberta de Catalunya Institution # enrollments in 2005 # courses in 2005 Virtuelle Hochschule Bayern 20000 150 Oncampus 9386 119 NKI 12217 470 BI 8500 54 NKS 2200 104 Sør-trøndelag University College 2500 148
  • 37. Panel Session
    • Discussion of the important success factors and reasons for failure for European providers of online education.