Tag Archives: Dual mode institutions

Developing knowledge through practical experience: the principles of financial sustainability for online programs

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. //www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/summer102/meyer102.htm – Republished with permission.

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Transforming higher education in Lesotho through Open and Distance Learning: issues and challenges

This article presents the case of two higher education institutions in Lesotho, the National University of Lesotho and the Lesotho College of Education which are by definition operating as dual mode institutions. While their efforts at opening more access to higher education are commendable, these are falling short of meeting the current demand. Distance education challenges inherent in this kind of arrangement are well documented. These include among others the lower level status accorded the distance education units within the traditional systems. This has led to unequal treatment in terms of resource allocation and treatment of both the staff and students.
This paper proposes that their efforts can be transformed through promoting a culture of open and distance method, where the leadership, the academic, the administrative and the government embrace ODL. The issues and challenges that need to be confronted are explored.

Revised version of paper presented at the conference Developing a common platform for global co-operation – GUIDE2006, Rome, 13-14 February 2006.

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