PHOTO: ANDREA PIACQUADIO / PEXELS
44 | THE PIE REVIEW | ISSUE #26
He further highlights that positive student experiences will
come from institutions where they are “focused on putting
in place measures to ensure a positive learning experience”.
Among these measures, he cites tools such as supplying
online resources and additional tutoring services, along with
a high level of support for students.
“There is a difference right now between all these institu-tions’
teaching being on Zoom and what OPMs do with
institutions and fully online programs,” agrees US-based
Emerge Education’s CEO, James Hunter, whose company
has enrolled 1,000 students in over 75 undergraduate, gradu-ate
and certificate programs as of the end of 2019.
“And I think the institutions are now going to figure that out.
The faculty has been forced in so many respects to teach in a
different way or use a different tool for that teaching.”
Signs of this have been seen around the world. Lawsuits
have already been brought by students against universities
for tuition fee refunds. Language schools too are facing pres-sure
to refund courses as students reject the idea that they’re
getting their money’s worth doing online courses at home as
opposed to learning a language in-country.
“The impact on the market for online learners is a very im-portant
question,” says Gary Gates, senior vice president, UK
higher education at Pearson, which launched its first OPM
program in 2010 and now has 250 courses with 45 partners.
“The current situation will dramatically change the way
students think about online delivery of higher education, but
this will depend very much on individual experience and the
perception, therefore, won’t be the same for everyone.
“Some institutions will manage this transition better
than others, and those that do will leave a better impres-sion
on learners,” Gates adds.
“There is a difference
right now between all these
institutions’ teaching being
on Zoom and what OPMs do
James Hunter, Emerge Education