Kevin Carey refers to the paradigm of Georgia Tech. The institution has launched an online master’s in Computer Science in 2014 but decided to keep its prices at a low lever. By charging the students only 500 US dollars for a three-credit course that otherwise, on campus, would cost 10 times as much, the program now hosts nearly 400o students whereas the University is able to host no more than 300.
What is interesting about this program is a research made by Georgia Tech and Harvard as to how invaluable it was for the students to get in. So, they investigated what happened to those ones who were not admitted in the first year but whose overall scores were high enough. They amazingly found out that they never signed up to other courses except a bare 10%. As the average age for the online program’s students is 35 and 90% of them are employed, the team discovered that it was impossible for them to pursue an on campus program elsewhere, nor pay the high tuition fees necessary to do so for other institutions.
This is a case of a successful appropriation of the medium and at the right price. Because the program follows the principles of the on campus one but is adjusted to the online realities. In addition, it seeks to address a whole other group of students. If these 35 year olds have been identified and registered as a new group of learners then these programs are not competitive to the on campus ones, but focus on a very different audience that has very different needs. Very promising.
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