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    Emerging Technologies in Distance Education -- Outstanding...
    blog entry posted September 7, 2010 by Richard E Lillie, last edited May 22, 2012, tagged research 
    18731 Views, 106 Comments
    title:
    Emerging Technologies in Distance Education -- Outstanding Resource
    intro text:

    In July, 2010 AU Press (Athabasca University, Canada) published a book that I think you will find is an excellent resource for ideas about using technology in teaching and learning.  The book entitled Emerging Technologies in Distance Education is edited by George Veletsianos.

    AU Press makes the book available for free in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format.  You may download the entire publication or selected chapters.

    This book is worth exploring.  It may not turn you into a "pro from Dover" (to draw on the line from the movie Mash).  However, it should help you better understand how to use technology when you design course materials and share them with your students.

    Enjoy.

    Rick Lillie (Cal State, San Bernardino)

    Emerging Technologies in Distance Education

    Comment

    • Robert E Jensen

      Business Insider:  The Best 2016 Online MBA Programs ---
       http://www.businessinsider.com/best-online-mba-programs-2016-1

    • Robert E Jensen

      "Does Technology Ever Reduce the Costs of Teaching?" by Corrine Ruff, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 26, 2016 ---
      http://chronicle.com/article/A-Reader-Asks-Does-Technology/235046?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en&elq=c989470767fa43b29811269da39fca40&elqCampaignId=2295&elqaid=7634&elqat=1&elqTrackId=e4c97ded3d694143b09de8b4e42af7ae

      Bob Jensen's threads on online program costs and faculty compensation ---
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/distcost.htm

      Bob Jensen's Education Technology Threads ---
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm

    • Robert E Jensen

      Crash Course Philosophy: Hank Green’s Fast-Paced Introduction to Philosophy Gets Underway on YouTube ---
      http://www.openculture.com/2016/02/crash-course-philosophy-hank-greens-fast-paced-introduction-to-philosophy-gets-underway-on-youtube.html

      See YouTube Education ---
      https://www.youtube.com/edu
      Especially note the featured channels

    • Robert E Jensen

      "Distance Ed’s Second Act," by Phil Hill, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 24, 2016 ---
      http://chronicle.com/article/Distance-Ed-s-Second-Act/236571?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en&elqTrackId=db09c79a6b904181b6f4f6c62c2f7186&elq=a09c5c90756240e6bff2f53f58cf0f04&elqaid=9185&elqat=1&elqCampaignId=3192 

      The Babson Survey Research Group, which has tracked online college enrollment for the past 12 years, reports growth from 9 percent of U.S. students taking at least one course online in the fall of 2002 to more than 28 percent in the fall of 2014. The overall growth has slowed recently, but the drastic decrease in for-profit enrollment masks two very interesting numbers:

      Sixty-seven percent of students taking online courses do so at public institutions.

      The number of students at public and private nonprofit colleges who took at least one online course rose by 26 percent in just two years (2012-2014).

      Online education is no longer the province of a small subset of colleges and professors. We are well above the 16-to-20-percent level in Everett Rogers’s technology-adoption curve that indicates a shift into the mainstream. As I described in a previous article, the characteristics of people trying out a new approach (primarily professors in this discussion) change significantly after the technology moves beyond the innovators and early adopters. You start getting people who are more cautious and even skeptical about the outcomes and who need more holistic support to make the jump. We are seeing signs that more and more professors accept that online education is inevitable, even in traditional institutions, and is appropriate for a growing number of nontraditional students and a growing number of disciplines

      Continued in article

      Bob Jensen's threads on free distance education alternatives (some of the best courses in the world from prestigious universities) ---
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

      Bob Jensen's threads on fee-based education alternatives (some of the best online degree programs from top universities) ---
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm

      MOOC --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

      The 50 Most Popular MOOCs of All time ---
      http://www.openculture.com/2016/05/learning-how-to-learn-enroll-in-the-latest-edition-of-the-most-popular-mooc.html

      "What You Need to Know About MOOC's," Chronicle of Higher Education, August 20, 2012 ---
      http://chronicle.com/article/What-You-Need-to-Know-About/133475/

      . . .

      Who are the major players?

      Several start-up companies are working with universities and professors to offer MOOC's. Meanwhile, some colleges are starting their own efforts, and some individual professors are offering their courses to the world. Right now four names are the ones to know:

      edX

      A nonprofit effort run jointly by MIT, Harvard, and Berkeley.

      Leaders of the group say they intend to slowly add other university partners over time. edX plans to freely give away the software platform it is building to offer the free courses, so that anyone can use it to run MOOC’s.

      Coursera

      A for-profit company founded by two computer-science professors from Stanford.

      The company’s model is to sign contracts with colleges that agree to use the platform to offer free courses and to get a percentage of any revenue. More than a dozen high-profile institutions, including Princeton and the U. of Virginia, have joined.

      Udacity

      Another for-profit company founded by a Stanford computer-science professor.

      The company, which works with individual professors rather than institutions, has attracted a range of well-known scholars. Unlike other providers of MOOC’s, it has said it will focus all of its courses on computer science and related fields.

      Udemy

      A for-profit platform that lets anyone set up a course.

      The company encourages its instructors to charge a small fee, with the revenue split between instructor and company. Authors themselves, more than a few of them with no academic affiliation, teach many of the courses.

      Bob Jensen's threads about MOOCs ---
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

    • Robert E Jensen

      Kaplan University (a for-profit university) --- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaplan_University

      "Purdue’s Purchase of Kaplan Is a Big Bet — and a Sign of the Times," by Goldie Blumenstyk, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 28, 2017 ---
       http://www.chronicle.com/article/Purdue-s-Purchase-of-Kaplan/239931?cid=db&elqTrackId=b7653e228b3341a6acebce86c52ed21a&elq=c91e61b14a254328a0af37dde807914b&elqaid=13706&elqat=1&elqCampaignId=5700

      With a surprise deal to acquire the for-profit Kaplan University, announced on Thursday, Purdue University has leapfrogged into the thick of the competitive online-education market. Purdue plans to oversee the institution as a new piece of its public-university system — a free-standing arm that will cater to working adults and other nontraditional students.

      The purchase, conceived and executed in just five and a half months, puts Purdue in position to become a major force in an online landscape increasingly dominated by nonprofit institutions. Until now, said Purdue’s president, Mitch Daniels, the university "has basically been a spectator to this growth" in distance education, with just a few online graduate programs. Mr. Daniels, a former Republican governor of Indiana, described the acquisition as adding a "third dimension" to Purdue, along with its research-rich flagship in West Lafayette, Ind., and its regional campuses.

      For Kaplan and its parent company, Graham Holdings, the deal offers a potentially profitable exit strategy for an operation that has seen its bottom line battered for several years by falling enrollments. (Kaplan now has 32,000 students.)

      The contrast between the typical Purdue student and the military veterans, lower-income students, and members of minority groups who make up much of the enrollment at the open-access Kaplan is "stark," said Mr. Daniels. But he said the university has a responsibility to serve such students. Millions of Americans have some or no college credits, and Purdue can’t fulfill its land-grant mission "while ignoring a need so plainly in sight," he noted while unveiling the deal at a Board of Trustees meeting on Thursday.

      The potential financial upsides were also clearly a factor. In an interview with The Chronicle, Mr. Daniels said it was "too soon" to talk about revenue projections. "We have hope and reason for hope" that Purdue’s new acquisition will do well, he said, alluding to the fast pace of online growth at other nonprofit institutions, like Western Governors and Southern New Hampshire Universities. "If the new entity gets an even modest version of that growth path, we’ll do very well financially."

      Paul LeBlanc, president of Southern New Hampshire, said the online-education market was big enough for a number of new entrants, and he expects Purdue will be a formidable competitor. He also noted some potential pitfalls in absorbing a new entity. "Purdue enjoys a far better brand than Kaplan," said Mr. LeBlanc, and the Kaplan legacy might be a dealbreaker for some students.

      Still, he acknowledged that most students searching on the web for an online degree program may not know or care about a university’s origins. If a search turns up Purdue as an option, he said, "you might get pretty excited pretty quick."

      Merging university cultures also could be challenging. Value systems, reward structures, and budgeting priorities are not easily changed on a dime just because ownership changes, Mr. LeBlanc said. (Kaplan’s current president, Betty Vandenbosch, who worked previously at Case Western Reserve University, will remain as president when Purdue receives the necessary approvals and takes control.)

      Still, Mr. LeBlanc sees the Purdue deal as a sign of the times: "not-for-profit higher ed coming to re-own the space that they ceded" to for-profit colleges.

      An Intricate Deal

      The new institution has no name as yet, but it will no doubt carry the Purdue name in some form for its brand value. It will receive no state funds, relying solely on tuition and donations for its operations.

      Continued in article

      Bob Jensen's threads on distance education are at ---
      http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm

    • Robert E Jensen

      "‘Volatile’ but Growing Online Ed Market," by Carl Straumsheim, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 2, 2017 ---
      https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/05/02/report-finds-growth-volatility-online-education-market?utm_source=Inside+Higher+Ed&utm_campaign=50cc6fd192-DNU20170502&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_1fcbc04421-50cc6fd192-197565045&mc_cid=50cc6fd192&mc_eid=1e78f7c952

      Online enrollment continues to grow as the total number of students in college shrinks. The growth is particularly strong at private nonprofit colleges, report finds.

      Continued in article

      US News 2017 Ranking of the Best Nonprofit Online Colleges ---
      https://www.usnews.com/education/online-education
      Note that US News has a new service for comparing programs side-by-side on various criteria, including their US News Rankings ---
      https://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/compare
      For example, compare the online programs of Indiana University with Texas A&M University

      Bob Jensen's threads on distance education alternatives ---
      http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm

    • Robert E Jensen

      Harvard Goes Outside:   To Go Online With With edX  to Start a Technical Business Analytics Certificate Program (heavy in math and statistics)
      https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/08/08/harvard-teams-corporate-partner-offer-online-business-analytics-program?utm_source=Inside+Higher+Ed&utm_campaign=2e2909c6fa-DNU20170808&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_1fcbc04421-2e2909c6fa-197565045&mc_cid=2e2909c6fa&mc_eid=1e78f7c952

      Three schools at the oldest university in the United States team up with 2U to start an online program in an emergent field.

      If any American university might be positioned to begin a new online program all by itself, Harvard University -- with its world-famous brand, many-billion-dollar endowment and founding relationship with the online course provider edX -- might be it. But the university announced Monday that three of its schools would create a new business analytics certificate program with 2U, the online program management company.

      A collaboration between 2U and professors at the Harvard Business School, the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the department of statistics in Harvard's main college, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the program will teach students how to leverage data and analytics to drive business growth.

      Aimed at executives in full-time work, the course will be delivered through 2U’s online platform and will feature live, seminar-style classes with Harvard faculty members. The course will cost around $50,000 for three semesters, with an estimated time requirement of 10 hours per week.

      Continued in article

      Also see
      https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2017/08/09/inside-digital-learning-experts-weigh-harvard-2u-opm-deal?utm_source=Inside+Higher+Ed&utm_campaign=d46e7c64f9-DNU20170809&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_1fcbc04421-d46e7c64f9-197565045&mc_cid=d46e7c64f9&mc_eid=1e78f7c952

      Jensen Comment
      Unlike most MOOC courses from prestigious universities (including Harvard) this expensive certificate program is not free on a non-credit basis.

      Bob Jensen's threads on free MOOC courses (with added fees for students who want transcript credits or certificates) ---
      http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

    • Robert E Jensen

      Online Colleges in the Georgia System ---
      http://www.schools.com/online-colleges/georgia

      The University System of Georgia (USG) is one of the largest in the country, with a total full-time enrollment of more than 320,000 students at 29 campus locations. What's more, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) counts 39 additional public and private non-profit schools where students can earn a campus-based or online bachelor's degree in Georgia.

      Figuring out which traditional and online colleges in Georgia might be right for you can be a daunting task. What are the differences between the main campus of a large university and its satellite locations? Are you looking for a school that makes it easy for students to transfer class credits earned in a community college program? Which schools have the state's top programs for your major? Information like this can be hard to find, especially if you don't have time to hunt up all the facts you need.

      We gathered data on from the NCES and other U.S. Department of Education sources on 50+ schools in Georgia and analyzed it with our 13-point methodology. Schools that stood out in multiple categories earned the right to be called the best campus-based and online colleges in Georgia.

      Continued in article

      Bob Jensen's threads on distance higher education ---
      http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm

    • Robert E Jensen

      Distance Education:  University of Maryland University College reports record 2017 U.S. enrollments, despite a challenging climate for online providers ---
      https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2018/01/08/has-umuc-turned-enrollment-woes-around?utm_source=Inside+Higher+Ed&utm_campaign=3bcc4f9c28-DNU20180108&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_1fcbc04421-3bcc4f9c28-197565045&mc_cid=3bcc4f9c28&mc_eid=1e78f7c952

      Bob Jensen's threads on fee-based distance education ---
      http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/crossborder.htm

      Bob Jensen's threads on free MOOC distance education (certificates and transcript credits cost extra) ---
      http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

    • Robert E Jensen

      Kaplan University --- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaplan_University

      After being essentially "given away" by Jeff Bezo's Washington Post, the former Kaplan University is now named Purdue Global University ---
      https://www.chronicle.com/article/Offspring-of-Purdue-s/242213?cid=wcontentlist_hp_latest&elqTrackId=770cf49d644648389c4d60f584981a5b&elq=ec436abaed344d3f9ca010248f72e80e&elqaid=17423&elqat=1&elqCampaignId=7621

      The offspring of Purdue University’s purchase of Kaplan University has been christened Purdue University Global. In a news release, Purdue said the name would become official if the regional accreditor, the Higher Learning Commission, approves the deal.

      That review is scheduled for February 22, according to the news release. The Indiana Commission for Higher Education and the U.S. Department of Education have already signed off on the deal.

      “Our campuses are typically named after the physical locations where they hold classes. Purdue University Global can be accessed from anywhere in the world, at any time,” said Purdue's president, Mitch Daniels. “The name proved appealing and meaningful to our various stakeholders – most importantly prospective students.”

      The new name omits mention of Kaplan University, which currently serves 29,000 students online and in person in Iowa, Indiana, Nebraska, Maryland, Maine, Missouri, and Wisconsin.

      Betty Vandenbosch, president of Kaplan University, would become chancellor of Purdue University Global.

      “The name is respectful of Purdue’s exceptional reputation, but also distinct from Purdue’s other campuses,” she said.

      Purdue’s decision to buy the for-profit university has stirred debate since news of it broke in April. Faculty members and students questioned the public university’s motives, with one equating the deal to selling the university’s brand to Wall Street. Others have raised concerns that Kaplan would retain control over the institutions it currently has while receiving a facelift from the Purdue brand.

      Jensen Comment
      Roughly speaking, Purdue University had 30,000 undergraduate and 10,000 graduate students before taking on Kaplan's 29,000 students. This makes the acquisition of Kaplan University a pretty big deal for Purdue and greatly changes its outreach mission. Online universities typically have much lower admission standards than flagship state universities. It will be interesting to see how Purdue maintains traditionally high admission standards and graduation standards. in its new Purdue Global University. My guess is that the 29,000 figure will shrink for degree-seeking graduates, but nobody knows by how much at this juncture.

      Many of the PGU students may become non-traditional students seeking technical badges/certificates rather than transcript credits. That may become typical in many of our flagship universities as employers seek greater specialization skills of new employees, often technical skills not being taught in flagship universities at the moment. For example, until now employers would not recruit on flagship university campuses for accountants specialized in cross-currency swap accounting or accountants trained in derivative financial instrument valuations using Bloomberg terminal yield curves. That could change as badges and certificates become increasingly popular.

      Bob Jensen's threads on learning seekers apart from degree seekers ---
      http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

    • Robert E Jensen

      Online Western Governors University connects mentors to students with surprising success ---
      https://www.chronicle.com/article/How-One-University-Connects/242495?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en&elqTrackId=b229cbdccb764b3daf2cbf0f8e918854&elq=a40d69b868f44b6689f9d3a030779d3d&elqaid=17814&elqat=1&elqCampaignId=7876

      Close relationships with professors or other mentors can make a big difference for students. Having a mentor in college is linked to academic success, and even predicts well-being later in life. At the most basic level, mentorship requires interaction. So small, residential colleges might imagine that their low student-to-faculty ratios and well-trafficked common areas give them an edge in fostering those important relationships.

      But research from the Gallup-Purdue Index, which has conducted national polling and examined alumni outcomes for more than 100 colleges, suggests otherwise. Institution type didn’t correlate with the share of recent alumni who strongly agreed they’d had a mentor.

      In fact, the college that performed best on this measure was Western Governors University, which enrolls more than 67,000 undergraduates, all of them online. Sixty-nine percent of the university’s recent graduates indicated they’d had a mentor in college — more than double the share of young alumni nationally, according to Gallup polling.

      Proponents of mentorship take pains to distinguish it from advising. Mentorship, they say, is relational, while advising is transactional. Still, it’s worth remembering that many colleges wrestle with the best way to provide even transactional support. At some colleges, advising is the work of faculty members; at others, designated professionals. Which approach works best is the subject of continued debate.

      Either way, some students never meet with an adviser at all, and many others have only quick, superficial conversations about meeting their degree requirements. And while some colleges dig into student data to intervene proactively when students hit an obstacle, that has yet to become common practice.

      Western Governors’ success suggests that mentorship — which Gallup defines as having someone who "encouraged me to pursue my goals and dreams" — can be done at scale.

      Continued in article

      Bob Jensen's threads on distance education ---
      http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm

    • Robert E Jensen

      Wow! American Bar Association Approves Online Law JDs at Syracuse and Southwestern ---
      http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2018/02/aba-approves-hybrid-online-jds-at-syracuse-southwestern.html
      The programs do have live lectures in some weekend campus visits.

      Jensen Comment
      The ABA restricts online courses in many other law schools to 30% of required coursework to take the BAR exam.

      The TSCPA Society in Texas requires 30 semester credits of approved upper level accounting courses to sit for the CPA exam, and at least half of half of those credits must be from traditional face-to-face courses on campus. This means that if a student takes a fully online accounting degree from an accredited university that student may have to enroll for 15 credits of face-to-face classes even if the student has previously taken those courses online. Plus a three credit ethics course is required that must be from a face-to-face course. There are also other required non-accounting courses but these can be online courses from accredited colleges ---
      https://www.accountingedu.org/texas-cpa.html

    • Robert E Jensen

      Question
      What are the most important criteria for sustainable online programs?

      Bob Jensen's Answer
      In my mind the most important criteria are academic standard reputations and sustainability if the Federal government stopped paying tuition for military veterans. Sustainable online programs have reputation things and niches that make them survivors. Most flagship universities (think Wisconsin and Illinois) have online programs these days that are cash cows for the onsite programs and would survive even without Federal money for military veterans. Such flagship online programs are filling a variety of needs and are often taught by the same faculty who teach on campus. Probably the most exciting new things these days are the McDonalds new program for funding employee higher education (onsite or online) and the Purdue takeover of Kaplan University's faltering online programs.

      Of course some online programs have non-traditional funding like Western Governors University and programs funded by employers like Walmart, Starbucks, etc.

      The University of Phoenix’s online enrollment plummets while Western Governors and Southern New Hampshire near 100,000 students as they vie to rule the roost.---
      https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2018/04/23/nonprofits-poised-unseat-u-phoenix-largest-online-university?utm_source=Inside+Higher+Ed&utm_campaign=e057cf8bf5-DNU20180111&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_1fcbc04421-e057cf8bf5-197565045&mc_cid=e057cf8bf5&mc_eid=1e78f7c952

      Liberty University --- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberty_University
      Roughly Half the Students are Graduate Students
      15.000 Students On Campus
      Nearly 100,000 Students Online

      3.1 Center for Law and Government
      3.2 Rawlings School of Divinity
      3.3 Technical Studies and Trades
      3.4 Zaki Gordon Cinematic Arts Center
      3.5 College of Osteopathic Medicine
      3.6 School of Business
      3.7 School of Aeronautics
      3.8 School of Engineering
      3.9 School of Music

      NYT;  How Liberty University Built a Billion-Dollar Empire Online
      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/17/magazine/how-liberty-university-built-a-billion-dollar-empire-online.html?elqTrackId=c3412b137c0b46c9999c5833ed3dca57&elq=c99a9c459f244693a05fd66569b048c0&elqaid=18667&elqat=1&elqCampaignId=8407

      Not to be forgotten in all of this is Arizona State University's 150 online programs, including employer-funded programs (think Starbucks) ---
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arizona_State_University

      Arizona State University (commonly referred to as ASU or Arizona State) is a public metropolitan research university on five campuses across the Phoenix metropolitan area, and four regional learning centers throughout Arizona, as well as 150 online programs. The 2018 university ratings by U.S. News & World Report rank ASU No. 1 among the Most Innovative Schools in America for the third year in a row and has ranked ASU No. 115 in National Universities with overall score of 47/100 with 83% of student applications accepted.

      ASU is one of the largest public universities by enrollment in the U.S. It had approximately 72,000 students enrolled in fall 2017, including 59,198 undergraduate and 12,630 graduate students.] ASU's charter, approved by the board of regents in 2014, is based on the "New American University" model created by ASU President Michael M. Crow. It defines ASU as "a comprehensive public research university, measured not by whom it excludes, but rather by whom it includes and how they succeed; advancing research and discovery of public value; and assuming fundamental responsibility for the economic, social, cultural and overall health of the communities it serves."

      Liberty University, Purdue University, and ASU may well be the models of the future for comprehensive universities.

      Prestigious universities (think Stanford and MIT) have online specialty programs (e.g., in engineering) as well as participation in online MOOC degree and certificate programs via EdX, Coursera, etc. ---
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massive_open_online_course#Notable_providers

      Bob Jensen's threads on distance education alternatives around the world ---
      http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/crossborder.htm

    • Robert E Jensen

      2018:  More than six million USA people take online courses each year, including one of every four undergraduates ---
      http://onlinelearningsurvey.com/reports/gradeincrease.pdf?elqTrackId=8a97109446ab42f4a6d1dd82378a5d42&elq=f017428740324fe9851503671bdc6dcc&elqaid=19259&elqat=1&elqCampaignId=8759

      Fee-based and free distance education training and education alternatives ---
      http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm
      Many employers will pay all or part of the fees, including Starbucks, Wal-Mart, McDonalds, etc. For example, Starbucks will pay Arizona State University tuition even for part-time employees. McDonalds will pay tuition for onsite as well as online courses.

      Free MOOCs and other high-quality online learning alternatives (there may be fees for certificates and transcript credits but the MOOC learning is free for thousands of courses from prestigious universities around the world) ---
      http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

      Video on One Possible Future of Higher Education ---
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gU3FjxY2uQ

    • Robert E Jensen

      Harvard:  The Death of Supply Chain Management ---
      https://hbr.org/2018/06/the-death-of-supply-chain-management?utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter_weekly&utm_campaign=weeklyhotlist_not_activesubs&referral=00202&deliveryName=DM7738

      Jensen Comment
      Darn --- just when Walmart commenced to pay for college majors in this discipline

      Walmart’s too-good-to-be-true “$1 a day” college tuition plan, explained ---
      https://www.vox.com/2018/6/1/17413326/walmart-college-tuition-worker-pay-unemployment

      If headlines this week like “Walmart’s perk for workers: Go to college for $1 a day” (CNN) or “Walmart to offer employees a college education for $1 a day” (Washington Post) sound too good to be true, that’s because they largely are. The benefit is real, but it is much more restrictive than those headlines suggest. It’s essentially a bulk purchasing discount for a narrow range of online college courses.

      It’s also a telling benefit on a number of levels. The labor market is getting stronger, and employers are needing to think harder about how to invest in recruiting and retaining employees. But the old-fashioned strategy of paying more continues to be something corporate America resists, in part out of habit and in part because offering higher wages is a little more complicated than it looks. Companies like Walmart are, in essence, trying to get creative with their compensation packages in hopes of narrowly targeting the money they expend on the core goal of recruiting and retaining desirable workers.

      The question is whether policymakers will keep unemployment low long enough to break through the wall of resistance to across-the-board pay hikes and force big companies to finally just raise pay.

      Walmart’s actual tuition plan, explained

      The Walmart program is limited to online degree programs offered by three schools — the University of Florida, Brandman University, and Bellevue University — and specifically focused on bachelor’s or associate degrees in either business or supply chain management.

      You won’t, in other words, be able to do part-time shifts at Walmart to “pay your way through college” in the traditional sense.

      But qualifying Walmart employees (including both full-time and part-time workers who’ve been with the company for 90 days) will get discounted tuition, books, and access to a coach who will help them decide on an appropriate program and shepherd them through the application process

      It’s a nice opportunity for Walmart employees to gain a chance at upward mobility off the retail floor, and that’s likely the point. Unlike higher cash wages (which of course can be used for online college tuition as well as rent, gasoline, movie tickets, medical expenses, etc.), the tuition benefit is likely to be disproportionately appealing to people who are on the more ambitious end of the distribution. It’s an effort, in other words, to make Walmart more attractive specifically to the most appealing set of potential workers, a strategy other companies have pursued in recent years.

      Many large employers are trying tuition benefits

      Modest tuition programs have long been a staple of large employer benefits packages largely because of favorable tax treatment. The IRS allows employers to give employees several thousand dollars’ worth of tuition benefits tax-free, which makes establishing a program something of a no-brainer for most companies big enough to be employing a large back-office staff anyway.

      But four years ago, Starbucks blazed the trail of offering a much more ambitious reimbursement program that essentially offered taxable tuition subsidies rather than taxable wage increases.

      The reason: Academic research shows that workers who are interested in tuition subsidies are different from workers who are not. While everyone likes money, Peter Cappelli’s 2002 research indicates that the workers who like tuition subsidies are more productive than those who don’t, and Colleen Manchester’s 2012 research shows that subsidy-using employees have longer time horizons and are less likely to switch jobs.

      In March of this year, a consortium of big US hotels launched a generous tuition discount program, and later that month, McDonald’s substantially enhanced its tuition benefits. Kroger — another top five US employer — rolled out a new tuition program in April, and Chick-fil-A expanded its program in May.

      These initiatives differ in detail, but the broad story is the same. The unemployment rate is now low, so recruiting new staff is getting harder. Companies are looking to enhance their compensation but would like to do so in targeted ways.

      Continued in article