Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Scenario Planning Delivery Models for Higher Education

Technology has enabled new delivery models for higher education, with some models already in practice and posing a threat to existing institutions. Universities need to make conscious decisions on which model to go with, or indeed if they will remain as they are. Strategic planning may benefit from a scenario planning process (Gartner 2008), where potential delivery models are documented, shared, discussed, and selected to form a strategy. Below are some models for such a planning process. Models can be taken on their own or mixed. The first part of the process is to understand your University type. The Gartner report Scenarios for Higher Education (2009), summarises the types. Due regard should be given to the traditional role and competitive advantage of each type.
University Types based on Gartner (2009)
Type How is perceived quality defined?(by needs of the state or the needs of the learner) Exclusivity(in cost or academic requirements) Description Example Potential Strategy
Only Us U Collectively, to meet the needs of the state. Exclusive Large but exclusive.  Strong roots in the monastic tradition with emphasis on face to face physical experience, making use of a high-quality brand. Harvard, Cambridge, Oxford, UQ. Leverage exclusivity and academic rep, adhering to the highest publicly recognised academic standards, prioritising face-to-face and campus-based strategy. Consider Active Learning model and Franchise model.
Everybody’s U Collectively, to meet the needs of the state. Inclusive These have scale without exclusivity. Large scale industrialised and inclusive education. The bulk of the world's at least 20,000 universities. QUT, Griffith Convert to a mega-institution that delivers the same but at a much larger scale  in new ways. Consider Flexibility Model.
Me, Not U Personally, to meet the needs of the learner. Exclusive Small scale exclusive, selling a personal education focused on a
more practical application of their curriculums in a community. Often find business schools in this quadrant.
Wharton, Bond Continue to focus on providing the student
with a personal edge in the market or a specific community. Consider a combination of the Flexible delivery with the Work Simulator Model.
All About U Personally, to meet the needs of the learner. Inclusive Inclusive, personal and consumerised. Just-right, just-in-time education. Curriculum dictated more by perceived usefulness than official
Western Governors University, Open University U.K., Indira Gandhi National
Open University (4 million students), UQx
More like brokers of just-right, just-in-time education. Academic curriculum" is governed more by direct perceived usefulness
than official accreditation. Will work only with what can be delivered
virtually. Consider Self Paced Learning Model.
Model Options for a Brainstorm
Traditional Model: Only replicate online portions of what is already delivered in the traditional didactic lecture tute format (e.g. Lecture recordings and lecture notes). Online material becomes a revision supplement only.
On-campus Blended Learning Model (flipped): Convert a portion of each week of the course to be consumed online (e.g. video, quiz,  readings etc.), and convert some of the campus time into high value active learning and project based learning experiences. This model leverages existing physical assets and access to leading researchers, adding an enhanced classroom experience. It may cost more to deliver but will enhance learning outcomes and enhance the value proposition for students attracted to value face to face learning.
Lifelong Model: First year on campus followed by subsequent years being online learning with intensive mode – Blends the campus experience with the convenience of online learning. Also  promotes the idea of lifelong learning which has potential to grow the business http://elearningthoughts.blogspot.com.au/2013/07/lifelong-learning-model.html and http://elearningthoughts.blogspot.com.au/2014/01/spreading-out-cost-of-higher-education.html
Online Freshman Model
Offer the first year of courses online for free, to allow the world to test their ability and have a taste. If they pass they can pay full fees for that year, receieve credit, and start second year. Arizona State University is trying this model with the Global Freshman Academy.

Active Learning Model
Move many courses from didactic mode to a blend that includes increasing amounts of active learning interaction (e.g. target 50/50). Design more active learning experiences using active learning tools and course design. The model supports idea of being a place based university with access to leading researchers.

Active + Lifelong blend
A university with roots in the monastic tradition, emphasising face to face delivery on an attractive campus, might blend an on-campus induction year (or two) with large scale self paced online personalised learning (possibly using MOOCs) for subsequent years. For students desiring an on campus experience in subsequent years the Work Simulator Model  would be offered in combination with the option of a modern college experience. Putting first year courses fully online may not be appropriate for some university types (e.g. ‘Only Us U’) because: a) it misses the opportunity to induct students to the campus, and create a transitional path for students coming from high school, and b) it fails to leverage the existing campus investment, and c) it fails to leverage access to high profile academics, and d) it devalues the university, forcing it to compete with ‘Everybody’s U’ which are much more experienced with this model and much more suited to that model.
Traditional + Active blend
To alleviate physical space constraints, a traditional thirteen week semester could be made up of seven weeks of traditional lectures plus three weeks pure online, plus three weeks active learning. Saving three weeks of teaching space per term would make more room for active learning experiences, and redirect physical infrastructure costs into eLearning.

Flexibility Model
Convert courses to have a 100% online option so students can choose the method most convenient to them (e.g. Griffith Online http://www.griffith.edu.au/future-students/online-study).

Work Simulator Model
Build study areas that replicate the work environment with open plan office and breakout rooms. Find real world projects for them to work on supervised by professional staff that can mentor them. Sell the idea that you produce work ready students: http://elearningthoughts.blogspot.com.au/2014/01/the-work-simulator-model.html

Franchise Model
Consolidate programs to the ones that have the best international reputation, but franchise them for large scale delivery into the global market http://elearningthoughts.blogspot.com.au/2013/04/a-franchise-model-as-future-of-higher.html

Rich Residential Campus  - 365 Day Calendar
To distinguish a university from the online-only model, the campus experienced could be enhanced by: a) changing the academic calendar to make full year use of the campus, adding a full summer semester, with faculties compressing their degrees, and b) adding large amounts of on-or-near campus student accommodation, and c) inviting developers to build facilities to service the much greater campus population that is no longer seasonal (and therefore can sustain much higher quality services like supermarkets and other commercial services) d) providing sporting and cultural activities for students, and e) inviting industry to open offices on campus for the purposes of cooperative research or providing student work experiences, f) provide high quality collaborative study accommodation that might be better than at home (fast internet, study spaces, air con, access to tutors). Sell a genuine residential campus experience as our competitive advantage.

Shorter Courses with Flexible Start
Restructure courses to be 6-8 weeks long, in chains of 6-8 per year. This approach may offer: flexible start times (making the degree more compatible with international calendars); better utilisation of physical campuses that are often empty throughout the year; better compatibility with pure-online teaching which are typically shorter courses. Challenges may include: creating course sequences (prerequisites) that accommodate flexible start times; impact on research; change costs; adjusting assessment and possible increase in cost. Under this model students retain more of a face-to-face cohort experience than a pure online model where collaboration is largely virtual.
Fully Self Paced Learning Model: Do away with traditional semesters making all courses online and self paced (e.g. Western Governors University)

Research Benefits model: For a University with a research reputation, convert this into value for the students by adding and selling: exposure to research as a requirement in all courses; recess research project opportunities.
Research Focused Model: Accept that teaching at 10,000 universities will consolidate into a very small number of content and learning technology providers. These providers will have production values so high 99% of Universities will not be able to complete, and will only waste time if they try. This strategy involves progressively refocusing away from teaching towards a) research and b) towards the custom learning/certification needs of the local market (e.g. state laws), and c) towards building new new revenue streams from legacy assets (e.g. using the physical campus to build technology parks and accommodation).

The Pure Online Model
Going pure-online does pit the university against a large global market of online suppliers. A university may elect to provide lower cost online versions of courses to a serve more of its designated market, thereby better fulfilling the University’s imperative. This may possibly be a defined market if for instance a University has an imperative to serve the specific market (e.g. serving a state). Collaboration is less likely to be face to face but virtual collaboration is very effective and benefits from a more international experience. It makes sence to start this process with post graduate courses to provide a more realistic learning option for busy full time workers (think Melbourne University)
Work Integrated Learning Year
Offer an exttra year to the degree that is significantly about work integrated learning (think University of Sydney)
Focus on Professional Development Short Courses
Partner with a employment site to provide short cousres customised for filling skill gaps for job seekers (Think Swinburne University)

Example University Strategies
University Delivery Model Gartner Type
Minerva Hybrid Multi Campus – Online: Professors instruct online from anywhere in the world to several physical campuses. The student move between campuses as they progress their career. Me, Not You
Griffith Flexibility model. Any course can be taken online or on campus, at the student’s discretion. Everybody’s U
Western Governors University Self paced competency based education. Me, Not You
Odessa College Focuses on stackable degrees for the oil industry to allow
students to go back and forth from studying and work or life
Me, Not You
UQ Currently blending a traditional hi-touch exclusive campus research led experience with an experiment in inclusive learning using UQx.The accepted wisdom here is to leverage technology where applicable to further emphasise hi-touch on the campus. Blending ‘Only Us U’ with ‘All About U’
Swinburne Seek partnership
Melbourne Moving postgrad online
Sydney Adding a work integrated learning year

Barber, M., Donnelly, K., & Rizvi, S. (2013). An Avalanche is Coming - Higher Education and the Revolution Ahead. Institute for Public Policy Research.
Gartner 2009, Four 'Business Model' Scenarios for Higher Education: An Introduction to Strategic Planning Through Storytelling,  G00167364
Gartner 2008, Scenario Planning: Exploring Possible Futures for Education, G00163310

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