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Online Consumer Reports WCET

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WCET 2008 Conference presentation

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Online Consumer Reports WCET

  1. 1. Online Higher Education Growth, Competition and Information Richard Garrett Program Director & Senior Analyst Online Higher Education program Eduventures, LLC November, 2007
  2. 2. The National Online Market 8.5% of headcount at degree-granting schools Copyright © 2007 Eduventures LLC Sloan-C= 3.5 million (including online course and program take-up)- c.20% Estimated 20% of age 25+ headcount
  3. 3. Prospective student experience of and interest in online higher education Source: June 2006 Eduventures survey of 2,033 U.S. consumers interested in postsecondary education in the next three years- modeled to the U.S. adult population Copyright © 2007 Eduventures LLC Copyright © 2007 Eduventures LLC Trend : increased institutional and consumer participation in online higher education means more choice, more customer diversity, and a greater need for quality, comparative information Competition : An estimated 1,600 degree-granting, Title IV eligible schools offer online programs (c.37%)
  4. 4. State of information on online higher education… <ul><li>In general, from the perspective of the consumer, online providers are poorly differentiated </li></ul><ul><li>Directory sites dominated by school-led, rather than aggregator-led information </li></ul><ul><li>Little standardized, comparative intelligence to enable the prospective student to make an informed choice between schools </li></ul><ul><li>Obvious causes: market immaturity; narrow value proposition centered on convenience; higher education “choice” under-developed in the mind of the consumer </li></ul>Copyright © 2007 Eduventures LLC Copyright © 2007 Eduventures LLC
  5. 5. Comparing information on online and campus offerings <ul><li>Leading “Campus” Directories </li></ul><ul><li>accelerated completion </li></ul><ul><li>student clubs; </li></ul><ul><li>balance of in-state/out-of-state students </li></ul><ul><li>credits accepted </li></ul><ul><li>graduation/employment; </li></ul><ul><li>geographical location; </li></ul><ul><li>institutional type; </li></ul><ul><li>internships/work study; </li></ul><ul><li>male/female ratio; </li></ul><ul><li>minority ratios </li></ul><ul><li>selectivity </li></ul><ul><li>Typical “Online” Directories </li></ul><ul><li>Degree level </li></ul><ul><li>Program </li></ul><ul><li>Accreditation </li></ul><ul><li>Tuition </li></ul><ul><li>Media/Directories want to compare- but do they have the right info? </li></ul><ul><li>US News “eLearning Guide” </li></ul><ul><li>Online Education Database- “top 15” online schools- undergraduate </li></ul><ul><li>CNN Money “best online entrepreneurship programs” </li></ul><ul><li>OnlineDegreeReviews.org- 478 reviews, 321 colleges </li></ul><ul><li>School innovation- competitive advantage? </li></ul><ul><li>e.g. AIU Online’s “Outcomes” page </li></ul>Source: Eduventures report, “Informed Choice & Competitive Advantage: A Consumer Checklist for Online Programs”. The report includes a comparison of leading “campus” and “online” oriented directory sites- Fall 2006 Copyright © 2007 Eduventures LLC <ul><li>Housing, sports, freshman GPA, class size, Greek life, parental college ties, SAT/ACT score </li></ul>“ Online” Directory Innovation?
  6. 6. Why might greater transparency be helpful? <ul><li>Improved “fit” : help prospective student make more rational choices- boosting engagement and retention </li></ul><ul><li>Differentiation : help schools stand out in an evermore crowded market; help directory firms innovate </li></ul><ul><li>Operational efficiency : increase impact of value proposition, and reduce significance of marketing volume </li></ul><ul><li>Maturation : capitalize on the growing breadth and diversity of distance education- develop value of “distance” beyond convenience </li></ul><ul><li>Accountability : fashion appropriate reporting metrics </li></ul><ul><li>Brand : challenge perceptions of distance education as second-rate </li></ul>Copyright © 2007 Eduventures LLC
  7. 7. A “Consumer Reports” for the Online Student Pat Shea WCET 20 th Annual Conference November 8, 2007
  8. 8. Common Questions What Students Want to Know <ul><li>Can you get a degree online or just take courses? </li></ul><ul><li>Does a degree have the same value as one earned on campus? </li></ul><ul><li>How long does it take to complete a degree or course? </li></ul><ul><li>How much will it cost to complete? </li></ul><ul><li>How do employers view online study? </li></ul><ul><li>What is needed in a computer? </li></ul>
  9. 9. Common Questions What Students Need to Know <ul><li>How institution is accredited and why that is important </li></ul><ul><li>Difference between transfer and articulation </li></ul><ul><li>How educational choices impact career choices </li></ul><ul><li>Importance of motivation & time commitment </li></ul><ul><li>Requirements in computer skills </li></ul><ul><li>Total costs (tuition, books, software, fees, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Financial aid regulations </li></ul><ul><li>Schedule for synchronous or onsite segments </li></ul><ul><li>Instructors credentials </li></ul><ul><li>Syllabus </li></ul>
  10. 10. What WCET is Doing <ul><li>Website: Going to College Online: What’s It All About http:// www.wcet.info/services/studentservices/faq.asp </li></ul><ul><li>The Distance Learners Guide—available thru Amazon </li></ul><ul><li>Using the CENTSS Audit to inform institutions about services online students need </li></ul>
  11. 11. What WCET Could Do <ul><li>Expand current online student web page </li></ul><ul><li>Work with accreditors, institutions, & others to establish “guidelines or standard” for location to accreditation info </li></ul><ul><li>Work with SIS vendors to identify data for display in catalogs </li></ul><ul><li>Create student checklist for comparing courses or programs </li></ul><ul><li>Promote employer experiences with employees educated online </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage & support efforts for more efficient transfer & articulation </li></ul><ul><li>Other? </li></ul>
  12. 12. Thank you! <ul><li>Questions? </li></ul><ul><li>Pat Shea </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>
  13. 13. Ohio’s Consumer Activism Kate Carey Ohio Learning Network [email_address] www.oln.org WCET November 2007
  14. 14. Student “consumer” <ul><li>Catalog transition pages with information on fees, registration, books, faculty, etc. www.ohiolearns.org </li></ul><ul><li>Free E course to try out online learning www.e4meohio.org </li></ul><ul><li>Tools for students </li></ul><ul><li>www.ohiolearns.org/get_a_plan/getaplan.org </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Time management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Career counseling </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Real person – Regional Coordinators </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Faculty “consumer” <ul><li>Learning Communities </li></ul><ul><li>Lists for best practices www.oln.org/lists.php </li></ul><ul><li>Webinars http:// wiki.teachuohio.org </li></ul><ul><li>CourseCheck – rubric for course delivery </li></ul><ul><ul><li>www.oln.org/ILT/coursecheck.php </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Regents’ “consumer”Initiatives <ul><li>Student Success Plans </li></ul><ul><ul><li>www.regents.ohio.gov/Studentsuccess </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Define outcomes/assessments in Gen Ed, major, specials </li></ul></ul><ul><li>University System of Ohio Incentive Funding </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Innovation (refocus doctoral programs) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Choose Ohio First Scholarships (STEM) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Campus Security </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>www.universitysytem.ohio.gov </li></ul></ul>

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