With the onset of COVID-19, digital workspaces and online classrooms quickly became the new normal and majority of us like it now. While this was a necessity for supporting regular operations under the circumstances, it has also presented a great opportunity for organizations to learn, adapt, and grow.
As we look to the future, it seems like the digital space will maintain its relevance, prompting institutions to reconsider their program deliveries and enhance their learning experiences with online education. This is exactly where online program management (OPM) comes in, providing a number of benefits to institutions and organizations alike. With that in mind, here are some of the most important things you should know about online program management:
What is online program management?
Online program management providers collaborate with schools, universities, businesses, and other organizations to move their educational programs online. These providers can offer single solutions or suites of services, typically through pre-determined packages or by working on a fee-for-service basis.
The right OPM partnership could provide any type of institution with the digital solutions they need. These services include market research, technology platforms, course design, recruitment and enrollment, student retention, placement for employment or training purposes, and more. OPM providers aim to empower organizations, transform education through smart technological solutions, and prepare for the future of schooling and career paths on time.
Benefits of online program management.
There are a number of reasons why an institution might decide to work with an online program management provider.
The biggest advantage is often thought to be the ability to move academic programs to the digital space, thus bringing them to a significantly wider audience. This includes working students and adults, as well as any other groups who wouldn’t be able to attend courses in person otherwise.
In certain cases, OPM providers can even offer institutions the initial capital they require for developing and growing online programs, thus taking on some of the risks organizations would be facing if they were to create these programs themselves.
OPM partnerships can also provide opportunities for organizations to benefit from increased manpower, consequently reducing the burden on existing staff.
Choosing the right OPM partner.
When selecting the right OPM partner for your needs, data integration and technology systems should be among your main priorities. Choose a reputable online program management provider with plenty of experience in the field that can leverage sophisticated technologies to provide the solutions you require.
Make sure that tech such as data-backed insights, predictive and competitive analysis, as well as strategic blueprints are used for shaping educational paths and preparing for the future of work – these options tend to deliver the best results. In more practical terms, it would also be beneficial to select a partner that can easily integrate with your existing systems, as well as a provider that offers real-time, on-demand support to resolve any potential issues.
To ensure you’re choosing a good partner, there are a few other considerations you should keep in mind. For instance, you might want to check the flexibility of the OPM provider. Consider the contract models the OPM partner offers, such as fee-for-service models, co-investment, and traditional revenue-sharing models.
Similarly, you might want to research the OPM provider’s devotion to continual improvement and growth. Do they have systems in place to monitor performance, enhance course quality, and track engagement over time? Is their course design process focused on positive outcomes, including attention to culture, tradition, and mission? These factors can help you distinguish a great OPM partner from a good one.
Aligning with your strategic goals.
The true hallmark of a successful program is its ability to manage interconnected projects and ensure they are all directly related to an institution’s main strategic objectives and goals. This is exactly what will set the best OPM provider apart from the rest.
Of course, staying within budget, completing projects on time, and similar factors are important to the entire process. However, remaining flexible, knowing when and how to make the necessary changes, and ensuring the organization’s strategic goals are met are all key to ensuring success with online program management. Pay special attention to these vital aspects.
The current turbulent climate has clearly shown that online program management is more critical now than ever before. The right OPM partnership will help you move online and accelerate growth, even in evolving environments.