Miami Invests $3.5M In Online Learning

Career College Central summary:

  • Miami University will invest $3.5 million in new online courses, but it hopes to earn that money back within six years and reap annual profits of $1 million within a decade.
  • Some of the spending is defensive, trying to recapture hundreds of Miami students who take online courses for credit elsewhere because they are less expensive and often less challenging.
  • The plan includes luring new students, though, with certificate and graduate programs in high-demand areas such as instructional design, gerontology and speech pathology.
  • The plan is Miami’s biggest push yet into the growing world of online learning that has disrupted traditional universities and boosted proprietary schools that are their biggest competition. More than 6.7 million students around the country are taking at least one online course, according to a 2012 study from the Babson Survey Research Group.
  • More than three-quarters of academic leaders rated learning outcomes in online courses similar to those in face-to-face classes, the higher education research group said. But doubts remain about the effectiveness of online programs.
  • A study by the Public Agenda advocacy research group showed that 42 percent of employers believe students in online-only programs learn less, while 49 percent say learning outcomes are about the same. More students are enrolling in the programs every year. Counting the main campus in Oxford and regional campuses in Hamilton and Middletown, 5,760 Miami students take at least one course from 465 online offerings now.

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