Questions and research opportunities in online education
This colloquium piece is intended to provoke thoughts and questions about research into the influence of corporatisation and marketisation in the area of online education. The topics related to these issues include the rise of for-profit online education companies, the mergers of traditional with for-profit institutions and the changing demographics of the college student. An assertion is made that there are many future research opportunities in the field of online education directly related to corporatisation and related issues. With the international growth of online education, very unique things are being seen. Specifically, education is no longer strictly in the domain of government or privately endowed foundations. Increasing demand for continuing education by adult learners and growing traditional student populations in the United States are straining existing educational resources. One answer to some of these resource shortages is the implementation of online degree programmes and other online educational methods to serve new populations of students. As with any emerging market opportunity, however, this new market is attracting competitors seeking to capitalise on the potential profits that can be gained.