Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present an intentional model for moving into online learning; to show how the decision was part of the strategic planning process; and to explain the decision behind utilizing the consortium approach. The paper aims to discuss the pros and cons of the consortium model. Design/methodology/approach – This paper describes the process Charter Oak State College, a non‐traditional public college, undertook to move from being an aggregator of credits to being the state's leader in providing undergraduate online learning to adult students. It also discusses how the college took a leadership role in forming a state‐wide online learning consortium that then became its online learning infrastructure. Findings – The paper emphasizes the importance of the strategic planning process and the Board's buy‐in to making an online learning venture successful and candidly discusses the advantages and disadvantages of being in a consortium. The college found that the consortium approach was highly advantageous for start‐up, but has found that the consortium can hamper growth. The college also found that in certain areas, it needs to develop its own services independent from the consortium. Research limitations/implications – Research could be carried out on consortium models to determine best practices and/or to categorize strengths and weaknesses. Practical implications – By sharing what worked and what did not work, other colleges can learn from the study's experiences. Originality/value – This paper describes one college's experience of moving into the online course delivery arena using the consortium approach. It provides those who are contemplating developing or joining a consortium for the purpose of offering online courses with a case study to examine and discuss.
On the Horizon – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 21, 2007
Keywords: Distance learning; Strategic planning
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