Online learners still stuck with traditional scheduling, funding models

online-learners-demandWhen Title IV funding for higher education began in 1965, colleges and universities never imagined a day when learners would take classes online or create their own academic schedules. Their systems were hardwired for traditional academic terms and students, which start in the fall and end the following spring, and typically assume a full-time schedule.

In this respect, not much has changed since then. Most school calendars and student information systems are still locked on this rigid academic schedule.

Generations later, almost all institutions have added online learning courses to their academic menus to help meet the demands of current and prospective learners. But when you look at most course catalogs, you still see online course offerings that adhere to the traditional academic semesters and financial aid models built into those early systems.

The model is the same. What’s worse, it fails to tap into the biggest growth sector of today’s students–the on-demand learner, and does not take advantage of the flexibility that online learning offers.

(Next page: How to better serve online learners)


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