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22st Annual OLC International Conference
November 16-18, 2016 | Orlando, Florida | Walt Disney World Swan/Dolphin Resort

OLC Innovate 2016 - Innovations in Blended and Online Learning
April 20-22, 2016 | New Orleans, LA | Sheraton New Orleans Hotel

Strategies for Integrating Online Learning Into the Academic Enterprise: A Case Study of the Penn State World Campus

Craig Weidemann (Pennsylvania State University, USA)
Lawrence Ragan (Penn State, USA)
Session Information
October 14, 2015 - 3:45pm
Leadership, Values and Society
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
N/A - Not Applicable
Institutional Level: 
Universities and Four Year Institutions
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Information Session
Americas Seminar
Session Duration: 
45 Minutes
Concurrent Session 4

Innovations and entrepreneurship in online learning can advance access, affordability, and student success through the integration of online learning into the core academic enterprise.

Extended Abstract

Innovation and entrepreneurship in online learning can serve a critical role in advancing an institution's goals of access, affordability, and student success through the integration of online learning into the core academic enterprise. Like many organizational innovations, online education originated at the periphery of many higher education institutions and, frequently, with a major goal of generating new revenues. However, after evolving over many years, online learning has now moved to an increasingly central role in advancing pedagogy, student success, retention, educational technology, and innovation within the overall academy. Penn State's World Campus' sixteen-year history in online education provides an informative case study reflecting a University's core strategy, starting with a goal to attract adult students, and now moving increasingly toward advancing learner success for all students, pushing innovation, and progressing to integration into the University mainstream.

Penn State World Campus has advanced many creative initiatives; changes in academic and administrative policies; unique inter-university alliances; shared and funded administrative and faculty positions; new institution-wide policy oversight committees; innovations in pedagogy, fundraising, alumni relations, and student acquisition; business and organizational initiatives; and revenue- sharing models that have significantly advanced the institution's focus on learner success, web-enhanced instruction, revenue generation, and innovation. As a result, the World Campus is perceived as an increasingly important asset to the University, frequently advancing innovations that are subsequently adopted by the institution's traditional legacy organization. Examination of the World Campus' strategies will provide insight into the evolving and transformative role of online learning in advancing student success and access.