According to Richard Garrett, Program Director and Senior Research Analyst at Eduventures, the new research project will address a major knowledge gap in the increasingly competitive and complex online higher education market — and provide unprecedented benchmarking data about operational issues and processes that affect online degree and certificate programs, including program marketing, curriculum and program development, academic and student support services, faculty training and development, IT support services, and enrollment management.
“Obviously, all colleges and universities want their online operational model to be as effective and efficient as possible,” said Garrett. “But right now there is no place a school can turn to get a clear sense of what its peers and competitors are doing, and to distinguish the lagging, the normal, and the innovative. With the market maturing and operational models playing a progressively more important role in determining competitive advantage and return on investment, the need for this kind of comparative data has become critical.”
“As is the case elsewhere across the higher education landscape, there is growing demand from campus officials for timely and reliable data to aid and inform institutional planning and policy,” said Kenneth C. Green, Founding Director of The Campus Computing Project. “One of the unique aspects of this project is that it involves public, private non-profit, and for-profit postsecondary institutions.”
The partnership brings together two leading authorities on online higher education. Eduventures, through its Online Higher Education Learning Collaborative, has become renowned for its expertise on the online market, and The Campus Computing Project is widely recognized as a premier source of data, information, and insight on the role of information technology in US higher education.
Eduventures and The Campus Computing Project are currently consulting with participating institutions to determine their most significant online operational challenges and where benchmarking would be most valuable. The results of the new study will be released in October of 2008.