The model doesn’t work without a base of content.
And since quality is subjective (it always has been) and quantity is overwhelming (it has been ever since Google pushed the argument of search to its logical conclusion), the only considerations in online learning that matter are the ones based on the efficacy of the content you’re offering.
But, when building a model for online learning, too many educational institutions are trapped in the Industrial Revolution conception of content, consisting of lectures, tests as performance measurements, grades as a “stick,” accreditation as the “carrot” and conformity as the ultimate goal.
The Industrial Revolution education model works well with accreditation (“Will this get me my degree?”) and supports the creation of graduates with minds that aren’t focused on the skills that matter for the future (“soft” skills) and instead are focused on reinforcing doing things that no longer have much value to organizations:
Like hiding from responsibility and accountability.
Like placing blame when a project or initiative fails.
Like competing in a race to the bottom on price.
Like sacrificing personal ethics for a public paycheck.
Like working for organizations and in industries where professional decline is considered the “norm.”
If the model for your educational organization’s online learning experience doesn’t feature robust, peer-to-peer learning opportunities (projects), “speed to market” dashes (short time frames), high quality student participation (we don’t take everybody because we are neither “massive,” nor all that “open”), and technology as an assistive tool rather than a crutch (email as a messaging service rather than a time waster) then your model of online education and learning will resemble every other model of online learning currently available.
But maybe that’s the audience and consumer your educational organization wants to attract, recruit, retain, and ultimately graduate.
But if it is, please be clear on that focus in your organizational head when building the content model for your online learning experience.