A public-private partnership to transform online education through high levels of academic student support

  • Chris Walsh Victoria University (VU) Online
  • Abhinav Mital LINC Education
  • Michael Ratcliff Victoria University (VU) Online
  • Ana Yap Victoria University (VU) Online
  • Zeina Jamaleddine Victoria University (VU) Online
Keywords: public-private partnerships, online education, unbundling, student support, learning analytics, student retention

Abstract

Online education often struggles to maintain a consistent, high quality academic experience. High attrition rates and low student satisfaction continue to challenge higher education providers. We present an innovative public-private partnership that delivers a resources-sufficient model of fully online postgraduate education with high levels of academic student support in an unbundled approach. The partnership overcomes the challenges that plague online education by leveraging learning analytics to provide highly responsive student support, 7 days a week and in the evenings. The success of this model is its ability to ameliorate problems inherent in online education. This includes the lack of ongoing staff training and support to successfully teach online, staff availability when students need support and insufficient staff-student ratios. As the sector moves towards a digitally integrated future, our model of online education illustrates how a public-private partnership can provide online learning that is effective as measured by high rates of student retention and transition, satisfaction, and academic success. We argue our resources-sufficient model provides a transformational roadmap for scaled online learning that creatively reimagines supported, personalised, engaged and student-centred digital learning as the sector moves towards a digitally integrated future.

Implications for practice or policy

  • Public-private partnerships can represent a rebundling of the university that explicates how the university should work to provide responsive, supported, and high-quality online education.
  • A resources-sufficient model of online education characterised by high levels of ongoing staff training, learning analytics to track student engagement, and optimum staff-student ratios, increases student retention and transition, satisfaction, and academic success.
  • Student engagement systems that leverage learning analytics can work to increase students’ academic success and decrease attrition rates.

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Published
2020-10-26
How to Cite
Walsh, C., Mital, A., Ratcliff, M., Yap, A., & Jamaleddine, Z. (2020). A public-private partnership to transform online education through high levels of academic student support. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 36(5), 30-45. https://doi.org/10.14742/ajet.6107
Section
Special Issue 2020 - Partnerships for scaled online learning