Online Program Management (OPM) involves partnerships between universities and expert organizations, to develop, manage, and deliver educational programs in an online format. 60% of universities in the United States are using OPM providers. But what does this mean for the way your institution delivers these programs? The three primary flavors of OPM are Live, On-Demand, and Mixed, each offering unique learning experiences. This blog explains each of these flavors, giving you a clear understanding of their features and benefits.
The Three Flavors of Online Program Management
Live Online Programs: Real-Time Learning and Interaction
Live OPM through synchronous online teaching and learning represents the most interactive form of online education. In this format, classes are conducted in real time, allowing students and instructors to engage directly with each other. This immediacy encourages a dynamic learning environment akin to traditional classrooms. Live sessions are scheduled at specific times, making them ideal for learners who thrive under structured guidance. They also offer immediate feedback and the opportunity for spontaneous discussions, which can enhance the learning process. However, this format requires participants to adhere to a set timetable, which might not be suitable for everyone.
On-Demand: Flexibility at Your Fingertips
On-Demand OPM is all about flexibility and self-paced learning. It’s suited for those who have irregular schedules or prefer to learn at their own pace. This format provides access to pre-recorded lectures and materials that students can access anytime, anywhere. It’s a convenient solution for learners who are balancing education with other responsibilities, like work or family. However, this mode requires a high level of self-discipline and motivation, as the lack of a fixed schedule can lead to procrastination. Feedback and instructor interaction are usually limited, if offered at all, and less immediate and helpful compared to live programs. Additionally, course completion rates in such self-paced, on-demand formats are typically very low, around 20%. The lack of commitment to an institution, professor, or cohort often results in high attrition from these on-demand online courses.
Mixed Programs: Best of Both Worlds
Mixed OPM combines elements of both live and on-demand learning. This format offers a balance between structured, real-time, synchronous interactions with the trainer and cohort, along with the flexibility of accessing some of the content at one’s convenience. For instance, a mixed program might include live online sessions to teach core elements of a program, along with pre-recorded lectures for value-add topics or such that are easy to grasp. This hybrid approach caters to a wider range of learning preferences and can adapt to varied educational needs. It’s an ideal mix for institutions looking to monitor the quality of the education while offering flexibility where feasible.
Each of these OPM flavors has its own set of advantages and challenges, and the choice largely depends on the specific program, needs and goals of the institution and its learners.
Finding the Right OPM Provider and Flavor for Your Institution
Selecting the best matching OPM provider is your institution’s first step towards a successful online education journey. Begin by defining your institution’s goals and values. Are you looking to replicate the vibrancy of a traditional classroom or offer flexible self-paced learning? Look for providers that align with your vision and have a proven track record in your field. Consider factors like their level of support, expertise, and commitment to customization. A provider that understands and shares your institution’s mission will be a valuable partner in delivering quality online education.
Next, determine which OPM flavor best serves your educational objectives. If you seek committed learning, real-time interaction, and immediate feedback, the Live format may be the right one for your programs. For students across locations and time zones or with irregular schedules, On-Demand learning offers such flexibility. Mixed programs provide a balanced approach, blending structured engagement with self-pace studies. Consider your student demographics, course content, and desired learning outcomes when making this choice.
If your institution looks to integrate OPM for technological programs, such as coding bootcamps or cybersecurity training, the choice of an OPM provider and flavor becomes crucial. Selecting a provider with a proven track record in tech education ensures that the curriculum is comprehensive and aligned with the latest industry trends and practices. Such a provider will have the expertise to incorporate cutting-edge technologies and methodologies into the program, enhancing the learning experience. A versatile OPM provider will also understand the importance of integrating hands-on practice and project-based learning, essential in tech training, to foster a deeper understanding and skill mastery that result in employability.
Wawiwa’s OPM Services
Wawiwa is a global tech education provider and is a leader in reskilling and upskilling people to tech jobs in high demand.
As an OPM provider, Wawiwa helps universities offer diverse reskilling and upskilling programs tailored to the latest industry needs. Wawiwa programs are offered under the university brand and can be delivered online or face to face. Unlike other OPM providers that specialize in some flavors, Wawiwa’s training is delivered as live, mixed, and other parts might be recorded for on-demand delivery. Wawiwa prioritizes flexibility and customization in its partnerships with educational institutions. We understand that each institution has unique needs and student demographics, which is why we offer the ability to tailor the format of the training programs. This approach makes sure that institutions can select the most suitable delivery method—be it live, mixed, or on-demand—that aligns with their specific educational goals and student learning styles. The goal is to create an environment where students can thrive and achieve their full potential, supported by a delivery method that best suits their learning journey.
Wawiwa’s partner in Romania, NewTech Academy, is a good example of Live OPM. NewTech offers various Wawiwa-powered programs in fields like Full-Stack Development, Frontend Development, UX/UI Design, and Data Analysis. These programs are delivered live, in synchronous teaching, to students all over Romania. Students attend these programs, learn from live trainers, and then perform online projects in pairs or teams – all online. Originally, the online delivery method was initiated in 2020 as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic and social distancing. However, given the success of these live, synchronous programs – measured by post-graduation employability rates that proved the model’s effectiveness – NewTech has decided to embrace a fully-online, fully-remote delivery model for the long term.
OPM offers a range of choices to universities. Selecting the right OPM provider and flavor is essential to tailor your institution’s online offering to the needs and goals of your learners and ecosystem. Selecting synchronous learning, on-demand flexibility, or a mix of both, is key to your institution’s vision, student preferences, and desired learning outcomes.