Today’s webinar, New Paths in Online Program Growth, is presented by Nicole Foerschler-Horn of Education Dynamics and Lori Pulido of Ease Learning. These are two very very experienced higher education professionals. They have a lot of experience working with various colleges and universities in different roles. We’re really excited to get started. It’s going to be a 45 minute presentation and let’s jump into it. We are Education Dynamics and we are excited to host this webinar. If you haven’t previously been to one of our webinars, I encourage you to check out our page of Prior Webinars and be on the lookout for upcoming webinars that we have coming up here in the coming months. We are a full-service Enrollment Management Solutions company. We provide everything from marketing to Market Research and enrollment management. If you are interested in any services, or want to have a conversation, please let us know.
One of the things we we don’t do is why we have Ease Learning here. I’ll go ahead and do a quick introduction of Laurie and Nicole and then I’m going to turn it over to them to do a more in-depth introduction. Lauri Pulitto is the Chief Executive Officer of Ease Learning. Nicole Foerschler is the President of JMH Consulting, a division of Education Dynamics. Laurie, if you want to go ahead and go first. Sure. Thank you very much Eric for the intro and welcome. I am the Chief Executive Officer of Ease Learning. We have a core team of learning design experts to help facilitate program development for higher education partners. Our learning design has a particular nuance and style to it that we’ve become very popular for. We’ve been working in that space for 15 years and know it very well. We will touch on some of that in a little while.
It’s a pleasure to be here today and it’s a pleasure to support Education Dynamics, as I think we have a lot of synergies in our approach.
I’m Nicole Foerschler, as Eric introduced me. I’m president of JMH Consulting which is a division of Education Dynamics and Education Dynamics, We are a full-service enrollment management firm.
I’m excited to talk today because I think a lot more universities are looking for partners to fill in the gaps where it makes an impact. of course, when we wrap up you can reach out and talk with either Laurie or myself. During the presentation, we are going to be vendor-neutral in our approach today and talk a little bit about what people should be thinking about if you’re thinking about a partner. So we’ll dive first into the potential areas in which you can partner and find a good vendor and how to figure out if you have a need because every team has things that they’re fantastic at and every team has some areas in which they have a need or a gap and and kind of looking at how do you determine where that Gap is and if that Gap exists or going to talk about today. Laurie and I have very much a shared guiding philosophy of what makes a good partner what you should be looking at that looking for in a partner and although I think that we’re excellent partners. Both our organizations are excellent Partners. There’s a lot of good vendors in this space and these are qualities that I think you should look for and demand from any partner with whom you work and we’ll talk a little bit about that.
And then of course choosing the right business model and there are a few different business models out there that have become more popular, certainly in recent years. Vendors have become more entrepreneurial about the way in which they can work with the universities, recognizing some of the shortfalls and opportunities and we’ll talk a little bit about the pros and cons of each and again it we are pretty neutral on the business model. I think think there’s some thought processing that needs to go into what makes sense for you and what should work for you and so we’ll talk a little bit about that. And of course take some time for questions. So typical bucket when you think about typical buckets for how you break up the work that you do in higher education. We’re going to talk about and we’re going to hit on several of these. I’m not going to talk about course facilitation because I believe that should squarely stay within the university that should be your job hands down. But the rest of these wraparound services are things that you can consider so instructional design and program development, marketing, recruiting an advising, or enrollment management course facilitation techniques, tech support, which is something we’re hearing more and more about and a higher demand for, and retention.
So I’m going to let Laurie kick this off and dive into this first. Thank you, Nicole. So first, just some considerations on what really effective instructional design or as we like to call it learning design really should have as as attributes, whether you’re doing this work internally yourself or whether you’re contemplating augmenting some of that capacity. These are the kinds of things that I would put at the top of my list for things that really should be at the center of your mission. By far, the first is learner-centered design. Translating content into an online modality requires really being fluent in that modality. It’s not that different than speaking a foreign language.
There’s the translated version of Google Translate, for instance, and then there’s the version of really being fluent. Understanding how to put the student at the center of that takes a little bit of finesse and what that really looks like in practice is that it’s less of a didactic approach and more of an application of what the student is meant to be doing. When you start to think about that, there’s a whole conversion process that has to happen to the really great content that your subject matter experts and faculty are so good at. Taking that and and translating that is really a matter of thinking about what you want the learner to be doing. Out of that comes this idea of authentic assessment, which is really important. Giving them something meaningful to do that’s going to end up being a pathway towards a credential that they need or a diploma that means something tangible and that usually means putting some of those skills into practice throughout the course work.
That process of creating these designs and thinking through these materials really should involve some stakeholder collaboration. This should be a unified approach. There should be an iterative agile way of going through that process and making sure that that it’s taking all the right boxes.
And of course backward design is really thinking about where you want people to end up and leading them on a pathway that’s going to be successful both through the tools and the technology and also through the pedagogy and the way that you instruct the methods that you choose. Really if you’re doing this at scale one of the big differences is you’re thinking about this not just course by course in a silo but you’re thinking about it holistically as a program. That becomes somewhat of a learning product. When you start conceptualizing the product that’s where you know, this is where Education Dynamics and Ease Learning really work well together. They’re thinking about the stakeholders that are that are buying into this. They’re thinking about how to market this. Who are we reaching? How are we going to be effective for that audience? We think about that as well in the learning design. Out of that, we define systems, not just courses, and those processes become scalable. So this is the kind of thing that you should be thinking about – even if you’re tackling this internally. This is really what defines great learning design.
We’re going to go from there to what makes for great marketing. There’s a lot of pieces that can go into great marketing. Right now, I am a firm believer that about 90% of your efforts should be focused in online marketing. When your adult students or post traditional students think “it’s time to go back to school”; the first place they’re going to go is Google and you can follow them and engage with them and support their path through things like YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. There’s a number of different places, but you need to be where they are. And, the vast majority of the time that’s online. So you’re you’re kind of taking an approach that places ads on many different platforms. This is ideally the kind of marketing ecosystem that you’re going to be building. It’s not a simple funnel.
We all wish it was a simple funnel. We want to say it’s a simple funnel but it’s not. Adults are busy and they will get interested and get excited – and then something comes up at work or with their family that pulls them away. So you need to create an ecosystem, which is what you’re looking at here. This feeds back in on itself and continues to pull them back in. When you think about building marketing for your department, for your program, this is the kind of infrastructure that you want to have. There’s also another piece we will be talking about. That is advising and recruiting. This is Enrollment Management. I love that we’re coming off of marketing to talk about this because if you want to get a good return on investment on your marketing dollars, you need to be following up with every single one of those prospective student who raise their hand and express an interest.
That kind of robust advising and recruiting is very much becoming the norm for the Post traditional students. There was just an article in the Atlantic talking about this and the impact that the OPM model has had. It is very much becoming the norm that you have people who are going to be following up. This is where the for-profits have set the bar and set the bar higher. They really introduced this as part of the norm and nonprofits are jumping on the bandwagon and making this part of their processes so that they can get the higher ROI on marketing dollars and so that they can get more people that are a good fit and are the right fit into their program. Unfortunately, this is still a weakness in higher education. I like to hit on this slide in particular because the research we’ve seen by one of our departments, Aslanian Market Research.
We know that 73 percent of students choose a school within 12 weeks or less. That’s just a handful of months. They’re looking at a few different schools. What’s compelling about this is 50% of prospective students choose the school that respond back to them first. So, if they’re looking at three schools and you’re the one who’s there. That helps improve your prospective student-to-enrollment rate That’s what you want. Tech support – I’ll let Laurie talk a little bit more about this. When you think about tech support, there’s a few different things that always come to mind. The first is timely response.
You don’t want any impediment in the way of a successful submission of an assignment or even just a log in. These are things that can derail the success path that students have. How quickly someone can get back to someone, measuring that support, based on its timeliness, is a really critical factor. I differentiate that from 24/7 because this is really the coverage. Timely support should be available when students are online. They are taking courses at all different times of the day. They’re fitting this around the rest of their lives. Having someone available on a Sunday right when the assignment is due is going to be really important. If your internal infrastructure is just not set up that way, and you’re more of a nine-to-five organization, and people are really getting those requests through an email. There’s really no way to track it. There’s no way to track how fast your resolving these issues either.
Single touch resolution. What that means is that the first time someone reaches out to the student they’re able to help them and get the problem resolved. So that the student can get on their way and continue through their course work. This is really important as well. Also, I think it’s important to have people addressing these concerns that are proactive problem solvers. What that means is: They’re not reading from a script. This is not a service where someone is having trouble wit the native language of the person on the other end of the phone. This is someone who can understand, listen, and interpret. They have enough skill to be able to answer the question effectively and do it in a timely way 24/7. With a single touch resolution as much as possible. If you can have someone attending the technology who has an appreciation of the lesson – that’s really ideal. A learning management system is a tool and it certainly is a technology. Very often this this technology is manned by the IT department. The students are dealing with coursework. There may be a problem with the learning design in the course.
There may be a problem with the pedagogy. There may be a problem with the instructions to the student or with some of the tools that they’re working with. From an instructional standpoint, having a lens on that is really important. So these are just things to think about when you think about tech support. Tech support plays a really large role in retention. It’s the lights are on, you’ve opened the doors, and it’s go time. If this is where the students are stumbling here – What is one enrolled student worth if they don’t persist? This is the question that we like to ask around tech support.
Building off that retention. That’s that’s the last piece that I want to touch on. Retention is keeping students engaged. This is not only helping students figure out their program path. What are the classes that they’re going to be take taking over a given period of time: It is also checking in on them.
Retention is regular communication during the term. There was a great article in The Chronicle of Higher Education recently around retention. Someone at Kennesaw State University sent out an email to 4,000 students – just to check in and see how things were going and ask why they hadn’t enrolled in the next class. The number of responses that came in really caught this leader off guard. Checking in throughout the term – to make sure things are going well – is compelling. It shouldn’t be a surprise that the next term is coming up. But, students don’t know if they have enrolled yet We have lots of conversations where they are surprised it’s time to enroll. “I need to do that.” Post traditional students are busy. The other thing I want to touch on as part of a retention strategy is always to engage your faculty in this process. As wonderful as administrators can be around supporting retention, the person who has the biggest impact are faculty. That’s been seen again and again in the research that’s been done. We’re going to transition from here into a partnership. How do you know when you need a partner that can plug into one of the buckets?
None of these benefits will catch you by surprise. I would like to say that one of those five bullets you’re going to say: “Oh, I totally didn’t think of that”. It’s still worth saying: When you bring in a partner, you are reducing time. That time savings can be can be moved into something that you are great at or that your team is great at. You can see more of an impact with your time. A great vendor is a partner and they become an extension of your internal capacity. Lori. Sometimes we are a completely outsourced for the whole learning design from one end, all the way to the other – including the tech support. Very often, that’s not the case. There is some internal capacity.
At a university or college that we’re partnering with, we are looking at how to scale or help fill in gaps that they have. These kinds of things we’re very flexible around how to augment what’s there and how to actually add value and Synergy where one plus one is three. Sometimes that looks like I’m sorry, Nicole. Sometimes that looks like someone really owning the assessment strategy internally or sometimes. It’s really some emphasis around a particular way. They want to deliver that content and what we can do around that is is scale some of the development time or work out better ways of using tools and technology or various other various other ways of supporting whatever that internal strength is.
I think that’s something that, as you think about Partnerships, you should be thinking about “what am I good at?” and “where do I need help?” “What do I need so that I can work on product differentiation and so I can work on scale?” You should be thinking “How do I work well with this partner so that, not only am I executing something better, but that collaboration with proven experts should enhance your own intellectual capital. Finding a good partner who will communicate with you, who will educate you, should also be something you’re looking for as a benefit. I’m going to dive into what we were talking about earlier. How do you know when to do this? I want to frame this in a map.
When I first did this slide presentation with Laurie, we talked about a SWOT analysis. I thought it would be helpful for our webinar attendees to think about it with a higher level of specificity. What are the questions I should be asking? What are the measurements that I should be looking at? That’s what we’re going to go through right now, but first like any good webinar, I’m going to do a poll. I’m going to ask very quickly about how would you rate one of three things. How would you rate your instructional design? Five is the best. One is the worst.
We’ve got quite a few quite a few that are rocking at instructional design. We’ve got quite a few “Oh my goodness, we aren’t good at this.” It may just be that some folks are new to the to the idea of putting some content online. I’m not sure who’s in attendance today, but you know, sometimes teams are just not mature or fully developed or staffed yet. So I’m assuming that a one could mean that as well.
Let’s let’s try a couple more of these. How would you rate your marketing? Again, one being not so great five being we are rock stars. And and this is holistic. Look at this give people just a minute to engage and cast their vote. I have to tell y’all we don’t have anybody who’s saying “we are rock stars at marketing.”
Let me share so you can see the results. We’ve got about 5 percent who are saying not so great. But our big majority is middle of the road so we could probably use a little help or it’s “I have some great team members, but I can’t make them spread far enough.” The last poll I’m going to ask for right now is “what’s your team enrollment management capability?” How are you doing on advising and recruiting and how fast are you following up and and helping people?
A lot more people are saying “I’m a Rockstar” at this, which is great.
You can take a look at the at the results. All right, everybody. Now I’m going to I apologize that I sound nervous about this. I’m just new to the new to the polling process. We are now going to go back to what I just came from: Map it out. Take a deep look at each of these sections to determine how good you are. Laurie and I put together both some questions for these areas, where appropriate some measurements that you should be thinking about, and resources you should be thinking about. We’re going to start with the instructional design. So in terms of questions and considerations to figure out how good you are at the instructional design portion of this.
I think you know one of the key things for me about thinking through in dealing with clients for 15 years. When is it that they feel like they need to be reaching out? These are the questions that I think they’re asking themselves. I tried to capture some of that but really it’s when they’re questioning whether or not their program is competitive or whether or not they’ve differentiated their program enough. They may be looking for some assistance around additional ways of approaching something. Sometimes, when you have an internal group, there’s a finite amount of skills across that group and just looking at a an outsourced relationship as a way to broaden what’s possible in that learning product.
Maybe you have someone who’s great at video, but they they’re really not very good at animation or they don’t have the skill to really write rich narratives and storytelling. Having another way to think about a program or really differentiate that program can make it more competitive. I think that’s a really valid time to say: “Look. This is a program, we can really knock out of the park on enrollments. We really want to give it a go. We want to differentiate it. We really want it to be customized.” That’s a great place to start reaching into some external expertise. Also, if you have a strong desire to have analytics to inform your instruction to actually give you valid information about the success of your learner’s and you need to really understand the depth of which you can do this to a greater extent. This is another strength that you might reach out for.
And then also scalability. If you’re stretching people too thin it’s going to show in the quality of what you’re building and your learner’s are going to be feeling that. Spreading that work across a bigger team might be just what you’re needing. These are really good questions to be asking internally. I really took a lot of time to think about these. I would highly recommend these are the things that that people reflect on.
Now we’ll move to marketing. I have to put this slide out with a boatload of caveat. So I’ve got top measurements here and these the average enrollment for credit programs. And when we’re talking about enrollment we’re talking about the amount of money you spend on marketing the two between the time you get that perspective student to enroll. The average cost of enrollment is between three and five thousand dollars. I want to beat average into the ground because your MBA programs your social work programs your nursing programs. You are more competitive programs are going to be higher you guys and depending on how competitive and the area in which you live like New York City, Washington DC La Chicago, Philadelphia.
It’s those are going to make it higher but this is a really Good Benchmark to have and to be looking at because if across-the-board your average cost per enrollment is above that you should be asking questions about that. And what’s driving that are your cost for inquiries. And again, this is from our experience with the number of programs that we have marketed for on which are well over a hundred different programs. But what we’re seeing is that your average cost per inquiry for non-credit should be well below $100. Again, that’s for the vast majority of non-credit programs. You’re going to have some exceptions but those exceptions should be few and far between. Your average cost per inquiry for credit programs is typically between a hundred and fifty and two hundred fifty dollars. And again, I’m not talking about one platform. If you look at one platform. If, for example, you were talking about Google it’s going to be significantly higher. If you’re talking about Facebook
it’s going to be significantly lower. An all-in cost is on average a hundred and fifty to two hundred fifty dollars. So I just wanted to give people some measurements to benchmark and look at. As you’re mapping out marketing you should be thinking about how much money you are spending. You should be spending fifteen percent of your new students’ lifetime value. So if you’re going to bring in a hundred new students this year and your program is $25,000 for a degree, and I take into account some level of attrition.
let’s say that the average lifetime student value is $20,000 then do the math and take 15%. That’s your marketing budget. We encourage you to do that versus this is the number of Enrollments I expect to have in this year. What that means is that you’re going to be spending a heck of a lot more money when you first start marketing a new program and that will pull back as a program mature. But that makes sense because when you’ve got a program and you believe it’s going to work that’s when you want to kind of go all in and dive all in. But, that is also why I hope to goodness that you’re doing research on whether or not there’s a demand for a program before you get into that. The resources that you’re going to need when you’re marketing the first courses.
You absolutely need money. Depending on whether or not you have the resources to spend on marketing, that might impact the kind of business model you use when choosing a partner. You should be on a variety of different platforms like Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter – depending on who you’re trying to reach. LinkedIn, we found doesn’t work for teachers, but gosh LinkedIn could be great for other things – certainly for a business degrees that’s your go-to place. Building out landing pages, having videos to help engage and drive enrollment – YouTube is the number two search engine – so making sure you have video is important. And microsites. Microsites are program-specific web sites that include several different pages all wrapped around, and in support of, a program. Then, mapping out advisors and enrollment. Again – I have to say these are these are broad Strokes that I’m brushing with. So I would say as a baseline, at a minimum, you should have see an inquiry to enrollment rate of 3%. That’s the Baseline. And, I would put it at 5% for non-credit. But the other thing you should be looking at is your inquiry follow-up time. Hopefully you’re following up within minutes.
Worst-case scenario is you’re following up the same day. If you’re taking longer than that, that’s something that you should see as a weakness and as a problem. You might need a partner to help increase your speed to inquiry time. That’s important. Your inquiry follow-up methodology – and when I say inquiry follow-up methodology, I mean you could be following up with someone different ways. Are you just following up one time? I hope not. I hope you’re following up multiple times. We typically are following up anywhere between six and twelve times depending on the program and using a variety of different tools that you have at your disposal. I’m kind of jumping ahead. You need a client relationship management system so that you can track how many times you’re talking to somebody you can email them through that system. Marketing automation let’s things happen without you having to worry about it. You could find out and know
that a person who won’t return any of you calls has suddenly gone to visit your application page. That’s a reason to reach out and call them again or send them information about an application process. When I say marketing automation I’m talking about systems like Marketo and pardot where, you can see not only are people opening your emails, but what are they clicking on – what links are they clicking on – within your email. You can map out if/then email communication plans. If they click on this link about financial aid I’m going to change the emails that I send them to be more concentrated on financial aid. That kind of stuff is powerful and it’ll make a difference in your enrollments. A phone system is obvious. Also a way to email and text regularly with people. Tech support – back to you, Laurie, on this one.
I talked about this a little bit earlier on how the journey of the student is really also through the technology. But also it’s a learning Journey. So when we think about tech support, we’re really thinking about all of the different touch points and aspects for why a student might be reaching out. We do an extensive survey around thinking through who the escalation points are. So these are things to think about: Who do you want someone escalating something to if they’re having a content issue? If we start to see a trend in that information and there’s a very large percentage and you’ll see this is the breakdown that you might see across many programs where these are the kinds of tickets that that we’re seeing.
So to really think about what are the categories that people are having issues with and what might they be indicative of? How can this really be brought to the right stakeholders attention to make improvements to that process but also to try to reduce the numbers of content related inquiries or Gradebook issues? Sometimes the end users that are needing support are faculty. What kinds of instruction is provided to be able to help facilitation of these courses in an entirely new environment. So just being able to have a tracking on this and a way to escalate that or look back and reflect on it in a meaningful way is a really important part of tech support towards the effort of retention.
To wrap up on retention top measurements. There is what is your term to term persistence? And again, I am putting a big caveat out here. I am painting with broad strokes, but you should be looking at about 80% for your undergraduate and you should you should be working towards a 90% for your graduate and this is going to be different depending on what kind of program you have. If you have a program that has a much higher heavier math component and you have lower lower standards for acceptance you are going to see a drop in your term to term persistence, but these are the things that you should be looking at. What’s the frequency of your following up? How are you reaching out? How often are you talking to people?
What are the kind of conversations you’re having? Those are questions to be asking. To go to another poll now -I have to take a minute to open it up and drop it down. This is where we wanted to ask: What are you strong at? Looking at all that work in the back of your mind. Where do you think you are strongest?
Give it another minute.
Okay, great. I will close that and share it.
Most people thought they were best at instructional design and worst at at retention. That’s interesting. No, we’ worst at recruiting. Sorry. I’ll look at that correctly. Okay, great. I’m going to wrap up now and move to our last part of our conversation, which is: What you should be looking at when you’re looking at partners. Laurie and I went through this and it was an interesting conversation because our organizations do very different things.
But this is something that we think needs to be standard whether you’re working with either of our organization or another. This is what you should be thinking about. We wanted to lead with: An alignment in values. This is important because when you’re talking about this from a marketing and recruiting perspective, if you have an alignment in values, you’re adding the right students in the program. You’re not just grabbing every student. You’re getting the right people in because you want to lead with the value of your program. It helps ensure also that you’re making decisions from the same perspective and Laurie talked about when we first talked about this and the impact on faculty buy-in. Will you touch on that a minute? Sure, Yes. I’m going to get to that but I just want to start with something else that you said if you don’t mind. Getting the right students in the program is so important but really understanding who you are designing for and the synergy between learning design and marketing working together.
There needs to be a focused effort towards meeting the needs of that particular student demographic that you’re going after. It’s not a one size fits all kind of approach when you when you design learning. Really understanding that is important and this involves the faculty so that this is the faculty buy-in piece. I mean really including the subject matter experts the people who know this content better than anybody in that conversation and pulling out of them. Helping them see what’s possible and taking those really great experiences that happened perhaps in a face-to-face environment and not losing the essence of that but giving them a new vocabulary and a new way of delivering that online is so critical. That relationship between the learning designer and the faculty and also with marketing, and thinking about retention and thinking about enrollment. This is not a separate conversation. It really is a bring all the stakeholders together kind of conversation. The ability for us to have that 50,000 foot view for 15 years is really where we’re coming from. With some of us trying to build that up within your own organization or extend it in some way through a partnership these kinds of 50,000 foot
view of what the students journey is going to be across all of these systems is where we’re approaching this from. This is where our values are very much in alignment. Yeah, customization. From marketing and enrollment management, it is looking at the school brand but it’s also getting a sense for what the program will feel like to a student. How the language that you use to talk about the program to talk about your University and how the brand of the University ties in directly with the purpose of the program. I have seen over and over again the programs that are easiest to Market. Not only is there a demand for it that makes it a lot easier but there’s also alignment between the brand of the university and the brand promise of the program and so that level of customization is
important. Laurie talked about this from an instructional design perspective, which is a little different it is and you know, I sometimes the word customization and scalability. You might think there’s conflict there but there doesn’t have to be when the right systems are developed along with that framework at the very beginning of a program design. When you’re really laying out the foundation of who this user is who is on this journey, what do they need to be able to do. You build the right structures in place before you jump into each and every little tiny detail of a course. When that system is developed and laid out you can differentiate learner experience and have customization without compromising on scalability and efficiency and ongoing Course Maintenance. You need to be putting things through a lens that does both.
Transparency – and this is one that is who we are at education Dynamics. I hope that everyone on this webinar is thinking about this. Transparency begins with: Will this program work? Do you have a partner who will tell you? Yeah, you should definitely be going after this saying that is probably less important than the partner who will tell you that you should not market this program. It is it’s going to be a dog. That kind of feedback and transparency is critical knowing what the partner is excited about. What are they concerned about? And what are they doing for you? They should be regularly telling you “here’s what’s going well, but here’s what’s not going well and what we’re doing about it.
For fuller Revenue Share Partnerships, and I’m going to talk about this in a minute, transparency also includes: How much is the partner spending on your behalf? What do the marketing metrics look like how many prospective student inquiries are they getting like that level of transparency is something that you should embrace and demand so from learning design Lori. What were you thinking about when you see that? Yeah, look, I think the transparency comes into where our from the get-go it’s where does the time need to be spent? How are what are our roles working together? How can we be better Partners to one another through this process? Where are our checkpoints going to be? We lay that out at the very beginning of the journey so that there’s no surprises so that we’re respectful of the time that it takes to put a program together and really being candid about what we’re spending time on. Where is this money going? How are we using it? Where is it most beneficial?
To meeting learning outcomes. We really don’t build media for the sake of media. We have conversations about utilizing a budget effectively to get a really well-designed program and it doesn’t always involve heavy eye candy. It really is more about really sound pedagogy and how can we optimize that That’s a dialogue also – thinking about that target audience. Who are these learners? We make sure that things are tailored the right way and we do a lot of listening up front. There’s a whole needs analysis phase to designing the initial framework of a program where we really try to prototype that and and that involves really opening ourselves up to what is important to the client that we’re working with and it’s different every single time.
Ownership – This is kind of obvious. But, I am always surprised when I hear from universities that they’ve had marketing partners, but they don’t have ownership over what’s been built on their behalf. So this is a simple one. I don’t want to spend too much time on it, but ownership across the board is something you should be looking for. Laurie is there much more you want to say on this one. Yeah, look there’s always a lot of questions around and learning design who owns the IP of this course and our our philosophy is you own it. We don’t own any of it. The final deliverable is turned over and it lives in the system that you want us building it in. The intellectual property that goes into that course belongs to the university. Sometimes that’s not always the case with certain vendors.
That’s always been our philosophy and I think it really matters to the faculty. They feel a sense of connection to their content. The university feels a sense of ownership over the product that’s been created through this process. You can’t think of a course as one and done or a program as one and done. It has a life cycle. There’s going to be updates to that. There’s going to be maintenance that there’s going to be new material that has to be added and that’s a sense of ownership as well as really thinking about the product and how we unleash it to you in a way that you feel capable to be able to support that. So we even have some ongoing supports that we provide to facilitate some of that. B,ut at the end of the day, these are your programs and we want to look at iterative ways of making continuous improvements to assist with that.
That’s opening up what you should look for expertise. I am a big proponent of finding experts who have deep expertise in your Niche and your silos. I think about in particular, marketing and enrollment management for adult students and retention as well is very different than how that’s done for the traditional student. Having that level of expertise around this silo of learning is something you should look for. If you choose to engage with somebody who has broader knowledge, ensuring that it still goes deep where you need it to.
Those are questions you should be asking because that lack of expertise can slow you down. Sometimes I’ve seen before universities choose a less expensive provider with less expertise. You end up spending more money as you fight for the same results because the time takes longer and there’s opportunity costs and figuring that out. So expertise sounds obvious. but it always kind of shocks me how often it’s not it’s not chosen or chosen wisely.
Laurie do you want to add to that? Yeah, What you just described about going down a path where some of these things are not optimized really. Do some due diligence around the kinds of things that we’ve pointed out today, both internally reflecting on what your own capacity is. Can you do these things to the standards that we’ve defined? But also when you when you think about a partner don’t take their word for it, I always tell everybody who’s talking to us: Don’t take my word for it. Talk to my clients. Recurring ongoing relationships with long-standing clients speak volumes, and that’s really the basis for judging someone’s expertise. I think.
I agree. So I’ll go over this quickly. The types of Partnerships that we’re seeing right now in higher education. There’s been a rise in OPM’s – that’s online program managers. And those are Revenue share engagements that are inclusive. They include everything. They’re kind of an all-in. Course design, marketing, enrollment management, recruitment, retention. They bring everything. But it’s a revenue share engagement. There is fee for service where you can plug in pieces. There’s also fee-for-service bundling.
I think about Education Dynamic where we have fee for service on the contact center side and on the marketing side. You can bundle things together in a limited OPM, where the focus is more exclusively on the enrollment management and the retention. Those are all types of partnerships that we’re seeing out there. I thought I’d just summarize where we’re seeing. Both the risks and the benefits. I heard as others reviewed my power point was that it looked like I was choosing one model over the other model and please don’t read into that here. I think one model makes sense for you, depending on what you need. I know for us – we don’t care. What you should be thinking about. Let’s go through the risks of the OPM versus fee for service. With an OPM model, you are going to have less control. And the reason for that being is that OPM’s will talk about what they’re putting forth the the investment in the marketing dollar or in the capital and building of the programs.
That increases their risk. So, they want to increase control and you lost control. As I’m going through these risks I want to say none of these are things that can’t be overcome. None of these are things that could be a this is a deal-breaker. All of these are things that you should be thinking about and exploring further. Depending on what you want to go after they can be mean less revenue. I think they will talk about the benefit of that is there’s certainly a flip side where you’re giving up a revenue share. There’s the potential for Less Revenue. There’s certainly a flip side to that. Operations can be opaque depending on your OPM provider. There are OPM providers out there who are not interested in kind of sharing things like their spend or some of the details on marketing. So sometimes that can be opaque.
These are things that you can ask for And should be thinking about in advance. There are some universities who are saying, you know what, that doesn’t matter to me. I don’t need that level of detail. But those are all things you should be asking yourself. Te other challenge or risk is that when you have an OPM you’ve got kind of a big organization a big outside organization that’s coming into work with your big organization. Sometimes merging those two organizations there’s risk with that. The fee-for-service side. There’s more Financial Risk because you’re the one kind of investing the direct marketing dollars. There’s not a reward for performance. No matter what happens you’re going to be paying that vendor. So that’s part of that conversation is making sure is this the program that I should be investing in and is this the partner I should be using. It can require effective internal student support and retention when you’ve got the fee-for-service.
There’s still going t obe the key communication, not only between you and your provider, but potentially – if you’re using multiple organizations to fill in some of those gaps that that adds some complexity. Let’s talk about the benefits though. The benefit of an OPM model: They’re bringing the capital so there can be less Financial Risk for you. And right now I feel like we were constantly having conversations about having capital shortage in higher education. So there’s certainly some benefit on that a benefit of an OPM is you’re maximizing internal resources you can work on. Okay, we’ve got this partner who’s handling all these wraparound services so we can really focus on what we do. I would also I didn’t capture here, but is related to this less revenue – If you’ve got an OPM who’s coming in who’s kind of bring everything in the kitchen sink to bear onfiguring out how we can make this successful.
We’re going to test a lot of things. There’s the potential for more Revenue than just a limited fee for service engagement. And I would also say you’re learning from an industry leader around each of those services. That can be applied to both an OPM and to fee-for-service. The benefit of fee-for-service is it can be very efficient kind of plug and play where you need it fee for service. Also, you can get up to scale faster and you have the potential scaling faster. And, of course short-term commitment. So we have nearly exceeded our time. I only have five minutes left. For additional resources, we’ve got out there the new higher education landscape report, which you can download and also a free secret shopper assessment. So if you’re interested in us engaging in a free soccer secret shopper assessment we would be happy to do that for you.
We will do an analysis of your current enrollment management processes and provide a full report for you. You can visit learn.dev.propaganda3.com/education-dynamics and fill out our form.
We really maximized the time and got excited talking at you.
And I would add if you do have any questions, you can certainly email us or you can fill them in and the questions format here if we’re not able to get to them in the next couple of minutes or if you have to go we’ll get those questions and we’ll respond to you directly via email as well.
Thank you guys so much for your time. Thank you for joining us. It’s been a pleasure everyone.