ERIC Number: ED467538
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002-Jun
Strategy Formation in Virtual Education: The Case for Dynamic Incrementalism.
Edelson, Paul Jay
Despite the setbacks of many virtual education programs at the collegiate level, the public's widespread, growing acceptance of electronic learning (e-learning) argues for continued expansion of virtual education. When designing virtual programs, colleges and universities typically follow an administrative model that is hierarchical, bureaucratic, labor intensive, and thus ill-suited to the fast-paced, ever-changing world of virtual education. Most successful players in the world of e-learning have displayed the following features of entrepreneurial organizations: real-time opportunistic responses; reliance on self-generated revenue; localized decision making, the relative absence of hierarchy, small size, and a strong and a culture supportive of risk-taking behavior. Higher educational institutions wanting to be successful in the world of virtual education must adopt the following strategies: (1) apply previously developed expertise in addressing the needs of part-time students; (2) begin with small experiments and rigorously examine the outcomes; (3) study the larger environment of success and failure; (4) follow the ball and try to anticipate where it will bounce; (5) encourage the best people to become involved in developing e-learning programs; (6) promote a supportive environment for experimentation, including following up with additional resources for further growth; and (7) accept that successful strategies must continue to evolve to ensure generating "value" for the organization and the consumer. (MN)
Descriptors: Change Strategies, College Programs, Colleges, Computer Mediated Communication, Computer Uses in Education, Continuing Education, Delivery Systems, Distance Education, Educational Administration, Educational Strategies, Educational Technology, Entrepreneurship, Guidelines, Higher Education, Internet, Models, Nontraditional Education, Online Courses, Online Systems, Organizational Change, Organizational Culture, Organizational Development, Program Effectiveness, Success, Universities, Virtual Classrooms, World Wide Web
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Virtual Education and Training Agency (Valencia, Spain, June 12-14, 2002).