Higher education institutions are increasingly looking to online education as a means to broaden their market reach, increase student enrollments and ultimately realize increased tuition revenue. Many institutions, however, find that they have insufficient infrastructure resources to launch one or more fully online learning programs. A small number of corporations now specialize in assisting higher education institutions with both launching and maintaining online education programs. These online education vendor partners typically provide higher education institutions with support in the areas of student marketing, faculty development and technology infrastructure. Such relationships are typically paid for by a share of online tuition dollars and often last for up to ten years. Due to the relatively long timeframes and costs associated with these vendor partnerships it is critical that higher education institutions choose a vendor that is the best fit for the institution. Prior to selecting an online education vendor partner, an institution will likely compare a number of vendors across a variety of dimensions such as cost, level of services, and experience. An online vendor partner decision matrix is one method for objectively acquiring and reviewing decision criteria to assist institutions in selecting the appropriate online education vendor partner.
Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration