Online University Design

ROI Learning offers a suite of consulting services that enable our clients to implement and support online universities that are scaled appropriately to their training needs. In some cases an online University may be a very extensive web-based environment that provides online learning and tracks student progress for tens of thousands of users. At the other end of the spectrum, the online University may be a comparatively simple web site offering a few essential training programs with only rudimentary student registration and tracking.

The figure at right illustrates the basic components of an online university. There are two primary audiences: the learners and the learning staff. The online university is designed to provide a fresh and exciting "Front Office" area where students take courses and communicate with their instructors and their fellow students. The university also provides a clean and utilitarian "Back Office" administrative area in which the learning staff can create and deploy courses and monitor student progress.

The capstone of the university structure is the main "online campus." This is the place where students come to learn about the university and to find out about new programs that may be of interest to them. The online campus should have a news and calendar database system that enables learning staff members to promote new learning opportunities to targeted student audiences.

Beneath the main online campus lie support systems that enable students to plan, take, and monitor their progress through various online and classroom based learning programs. Several of these components - the learning management system (LMS), the online catalog, and the course delivery platform - are becoming fairly standard, commodity systems which increasingly conform to specifications laid out in several industry standards. Others, like the curriculum module illustrated here, vary widely from supplier to supplier. For this reason, ROI Learning suggests that many companies may want to closely oversee the development of the main online campus and curriculum components while outsourcing to qualified suppliers the supporting services. This approach to selective outsourcing is illustrated in the figure below.

ROI Learning has senior consultants who can address all aspects of your company's training and development needs. We strongly recommend that before engaging us for the design and development of tactical learning programs, you first allow us to perform a comprehensive, strategic assessment of your organization's learning programs and culture. From this we can work with you to design a series of comprehensive and integrated learning strategies leading to the specification of a corporate or organization wide online learning architecture.

When these strategies and this architecture are in place it becomes quite straightforward and cost-effective to design, create, and maintain online and distance learning programs, and it also facilitates the evaluation of learning effectiveness and return on investment (ROI).

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For more information about our online university design services, please contact us.

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