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E-Learning--A Financial and Strategic Perspective

Educause Quarterly Volume 29, Number 1, ISSN 1528-5324


In this article, the author discusses three distinct challenges that demand solutions if traditional universities are to successfully confront the economic realities of distance learning: (1) Many traditional universities are not willing to draw useful lessons from the more advantageous financial and IT models of for-profit or other nontraditional institutions; (2) Only about a third of e-learning at U.S. graduate schools is accredited by professional bodies, and many programs have relatively high per-class student limits; some have no limit on per-class enrollment; and (3) The production of course content by full-time university professors is not guaranteed. The author suggests that institutions can consider several options in shaping a long-term strategy for achieving acceptable financial returns from e-learning: (1) Investigate mergers and integration; (2) Establish a no-nonsense, globally oriented virtual university; (3) Limit bricks-and-mortar investment in favor of blended learning; (4) Support the deliberate proliferation of distance-learning adjunct faculty; and (5) Accept that e-learning is costly but crucial. (Contains 2 tables and 26 endnotes.)


Ruth, S.R. (2006). E-Learning--A Financial and Strategic Perspective. Educause Quarterly, 29(1), 22-30. Retrieved May 24, 2019 from .

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