March 28, 2017

Principles for promoting the financial sustainability of online programs

Meyer, K., Bruwelheide, J., and Poulin, R. (2009) Principles for promoting the financial sustainability of online programs Planning for Higher Education. Vol. 37, No. 3, pp. 36–55.

This article, through a combination of literature research and interviews with selected managers of online programs, identifies 10 key principles for financially sustainable online programs. The managers interviewed covered a wide range of online programs. This is a very pragmatic article – essential reading for planners and managers of new online programs.

However, I would add one further principle: managing faculty time. It is essential to use a project management approach to course design, so that faculty have agreed amounts of work to do, with respect to course development, learner support, and program maintenance, and they know when they need to devote that time, so they can plan their other activities, such as research and other teaching, around these commitments.

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