Cover: Competition and Collaboration in Online Distance Learning

Competition and Collaboration in Online Distance Learning

Published 2001

by Walter S. Baer

Purchase Print Copy

 Format
Add to Cart Paperback17 pages Free

For-profit firms use the Internet to offer classes, courses, and degree programs in direct competition with nonprofit and government-supported colleges and universities. At the same time, many firms seek to partner with academic institutions in offering online instruction or distance learning. This paper outlines and discusses alternative models of academic/for-profit collaborative efforts that are being developed in the United States. Collaboration requires the partners to define responsibilities for technology, administrative services, content development, promotion and student selection, instruction, awarding of credits, and overall quality control. This paper states that firms may want to "unbundle" the traditional dual faculty role of course designer and teacher, and use different professionals for the two functions. Although most collaborations today involve non-degree programs, many schools of business are working with for-profit firms to offer MBA degrees online. The diversity of higher education in the United States means that many different models will be tried. Collaborations will expand the markets for online distance learning, but a number of difficult issues remain to be resolved.

Originally published in: Information, Communication and Society, v. 3, no. 4, 2000, pp. 457-473.

This report is part of the RAND reprint series. The Reprint was a product of RAND from 1992 to 2011 that represented previously published journal articles, book chapters, and reports with the permission of the publisher. RAND reprints were formally reviewed in accordance with the publisher's editorial policy and compliant with RAND's rigorous quality assurance standards for quality and objectivity. For select current RAND journal articles, see External Publications.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.