IU President Michael A. McRobbie asked Robert Schnabel, dean of the IU School of Informatics and Computing, to lead a university-wide study to propose a comprehensive online education strategy for Indiana University. He asked Dean Schnabel to include the following elements in the study:
- An overarching philosophy and strategy for IU online education in terms of student markets, curricular foci, quality, and academic control.
- A policy for how each campus (and school and department) needs to interact with the other campuses (schools, departments) in creating and maintaining new online courses and programs. Objectives of this policy should include fairness, capitalizing upon synergies, and avoiding unnecessary duplication.
- Key strategic areas for encouraging development of online opportunities and threats if these areas are not developed. Areas that should be considered include large, introductory courses; preprofessional, largely graduate education (courses, certificates, degrees); and degree completion.
- Technological synergies and efficiencies that can be achieved at university-wide level, and approaches and policies for doing so. Areas to consider include hardware and software support, support for academic and course functions, and faculty training and support.
- The administrative structures and support that IU requires for a comprehensive university-wide online education strategy.
- As time permits or the importance justifies, additional topics including: a) pricing strategies for online education; b) opportunities of international collaboration via online education; c) use of hybrid models of instruction that mix online and traditional modes.