Following the theory of situated cognition, as proposed by Brown and colleagues (1989), this research project tapped into the contextual knowledge of experienced administrators of online programs. Draft principles of financial sustainability for online programs were developed by an initial team of experienced online educators, and then critiqued by seven directors of the online programs, funded by FIPSE-Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education. The directors added conditions, situations and caveats to the principles, making the final product a rich and comparatively complete list of issues, that are important for administrators to understand. The ten principles in the final list include: (1) know your market; (2) know your costs; (3) determine a price; (4) negotiate with the institution(s); (5) observe good financial management rules; (6) develop and implement marketing; (7) have a Web identity; (8) identify and develop good faculty, including adjunct faculty; (9) improve retention; and (10) improve courses or program. These principles represent the situated knowledge of experienced administrators, and may be valuable to new administrators of online learning or experienced administrators, looking for additional ways to improve a program’s financial status.
Article originally published in ‘Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration’, V. 10 (2007), n. 2, University of West Georgia, Distance Education Center. http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/summer102/meyer102.htm - Republished with permission.