Magazine article Distance Learning

The Challenges for Marketing Distance Education in the Online Environment: An Integrated Approach

Magazine article Distance Learning

The Challenges for Marketing Distance Education in the Online Environment: An Integrated Approach

Article excerpt

The Challenges for Marketing Distance Education in the Online Environment:: An Integrated Approach Edited by Ugur Demiray and n. Serdar Sever The Challenges for Marketing Distance Education in the Online Environment: An Integrated Approach, Edited by Ugur Demiray and N. Serdar Sever (Eskisehir, Turkey: Anadolu University, 2009, 732 pages). Available from http://www.midasebook.com

Distance education is a field of education that focuses on the pedagogy and andragogy, technology, and instructional systems design that aim to deliver education to students who are not physically "on site." According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it "is a process to create and provide access to learning when the source of information and the learners are separated by time and distance, or both." In other words, distance education is the process of creating an educational experience of equal qualitative value for the learners to best suit their needs outside the classroom. Rather than attending courses in person, teachers and students may communicate at times of their own choosing by exchanging printed or electronic media, or through technology that allows them to communicate in real time and through other online ways.

The purpose of marketing is to understand trends in the field and customer needs in a global marketplace. In this case the customers are students, and they could be called "kings" of the market. This is a challenge with online education because the field is in a constant state of development. Marketing online education programs is becoming more of a necessity as global competition increases. To be on time and in the right place - this is the target of distance learning marketing. For this book, 37 authors wrote 22 chapters from different 17 universities in 6 countries.

This book is divided into six sections, each dealing with a different aspect of marketing for distance learning programs:

1. Strategic framework of marketing for open and distance learning programs;

2. Advertising, promotion, intellectual property issues, and collaborative distance education;

3. Marketing in global context;

4. Marketing of language teaching via distance and online programs;

5. Three specific case studies from Turkey; and

6. Lessons learned and literature review.

STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK OF MARKETING FOR OPEN AND DISTANCE LEARNING PROGRAMS

In the first chapter, Demiray and Sever set the stage for the content of the book. They argue for the importance of addressing client (student) centered needs in open and distance learning (ODL) settings, and they present the integrated marketing communications (IMC) approach as one model that may be useful. They review global trends, examples from the Middle East, and they describe what has been done in Turkey. They look at the education as a service.

The second chapter, by Tripathi and Mukerji from Indira Ghandi National Open University (IGNOU), makes the case for India, where sustainability through human development and education is a high priority. They describe the IGNOU, make an analysis of academic programs, and apply the SWOC method for programs analysis. The authors suggest how to maintain quality services in the competitive ODL market.

In chapter 3, Demiray, Nagy, and Yilmaz discuss comparative strategies between Turkey and Australia in quality assessment and program development. The authors briefly describe the 4P (product, price, promotion, and place) approach and the Bologna Process.

In chapter 4, written by Shaik, the relevance of the relationship marketing paradigm to student recruitment and retention in distance learning programs is described. An alternative theoretical framework is proposed based on organizational approach to errors in decision making. A case study is presented.

In chapter 5, Unsal and Ruzgar propose treating online education as a form of ecommerce. They review the evolution of online education and then introduce a marketing model to effectively create online programs. …

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