Digital Teaching In Higher Education

Designing E-learning for International Students of Technology, Innovation and the Environment

A book by Tom Worthington MEd, FACS CP

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Planning and Management

  1. Beyond Experimental Research Methods for Education
  2. Business Analysis
  3. Strategic Planning
  4. Business Planning
  5. Marketing Plans

Beyond Experimental Research Methods for Education

Introduction

Educators belong to two disciplines: that of education and the discipline they are teaching. Those researching education therefore need to consider the acceptance their work will find with both groups. As a teacher of computing I must balance the conventions of both education and computer science in how I teach and conduct research. Education derives its research approach from that of social science, which conflicts from the approach taken by much of computer science, which assumes the experimental methods of "hard" science. There is little point in using a research approach which will not be accepted by my peers, as they will then take no notice of any recommendations from that research (assuming my results ever even get published). The problem then is to find research methods which are valid from a social science and education perspective and also acceptable to computer scientists.

Development of Computer Science as a Discipline

Computer Science emerged as a discipline at universities during the mid-1960s, concerned with theoretical and practical aspects of information and algorithms (Tucker, 1996). Being a relatively young discipline there have been problems with rapid obsolescence of topics. However, many issues discussed by Tucker in 1996 concerning Computer Science education will be familiar to other fields, including the issue of staff research versus teaching, theory versus practice, management of large classes, meeting vocational requirements, cross-disciplinary work and preparation in K-12 education. What research methods would assist in addressing these issues?

Multiple Perspectives on Computer Science Education Research

It would be tempting to simply declare Computer Science as an objective "hard" science, applying a logical positivist approach and therefore the way to study its educational aspects is a similar hard science approach. From a purely pragmatic point of view, if academics in computer science are trained in a particular methodology for their own research, it will be hard to convince them to change their teaching based on research using social science techniques which are alien to their way of thinking, However, not all of those in the computing discipline agree it is "science".

Parnas (1999) argues that the practical application of computer science is a branch of engineering, commonly called "Software Engineering". They argue that while computer scientists are interested in what is "true" using scientific methods, engineers are also interested in what is "useful" can be applied responsibly. Garg & Varma (2008) suggest the .Software Engineering adds "people" issues be addressed through:

"It is suggested that approaches such as project-centered learning for case studies adopted and made role based. This will help students to acquire role based expertise through understanding and practice of responsibilities associated with different roles."
From Garg & Varma (2008).

There is a similarity in these approaches to pedagogy with descriptive studies and case study approaches to social science research. This suggests that these approaches to research would be more accepted by software engineers than those involved in "computer science". It may also be that "harder" computer scientists may be more accepting of these approaches if they were explained in terms of an approach common in a related discipline (Software Engineering) than the unknown area of social science. An example of this approach is by Carver, Jaccheri, Morasca, Sandro and Shull (2003), who advocate a quantitative or qualitative "evidence-driven" approach, tempered by resource availability issues. The use of the engineering approach, with an emphasis on costs, and resources will appeal to the software engineer, even when addressing what are essentially social science issues such as the difference in behavior of a student and an experienced than professional. Hazzan (2002) goes further proposing the Reflective Practitioner (RP) perspective typically used in architecture education be applied to software engineering.

Other research methods even farther from the computer scientist's experience, might be introduced in the same way, such as postmodernist and feminist views. The video games industry now rivals the motion picture industry, in terms of revenue. Computer games design relies heavily on computer science techniques such as artificial intelligence, but blended with techniques of storytelling for the creation of fictional worlds. These aspects could suit the postmodernist . Also as Squire (2002) points out, computer games raise issues of cultural values and censorship, which can be addressed through social science research techniques.

Solomon (2000) provides a critique of post-modernism theory and attempts to apply this to an agenda for instructional technology. While suggesting post-moderism's approach fits with a constructivist approach to education, Solomon does not make a case which a computer scientist is likely to understand, let alone find of value.

An approach which may have more impact on computer science is feminist theory, for the very practical reason that the computer industry has been criticized for an extreme gender imbalance. Ridley and Young (2012) note that not only is the proportion of women the IT industry low (26%) it has been declining. Ridley and Young go on to consider theories which might be used to account for this gender imbalance, including essentialist theory, Social construction, and the the Individual Differences Theory of Information Technology and Gender (IDTGIT). The researchers carried out an analysis of gender and IT in Australian mass communication medium to evaluate the theories.

The Research Process and Computer Science Education

As a white western computer professional, my discipline derives its background in computer science, which in turn has its academic traditions in the hard sciences. In this tradition, only empirical research matters. Everyone can be challenged, even the most junior student can interrupt the most senior professor in mid sentence to point out where they are wrong. Quaye (2007), presents a very different point of view, with a powerful first person analysis of their struggle to reconcile their identity as a Ghanaian-American with learning to be a objective, value neutral social researcher. However, western universities have their own culture and those wishing to proposer in that system must at least understand its norms, of not necessarily conform to them.

Those within a university will naturally see their culture as "objective" and values as neutral. Those who wish to be accepted by this system need to learn how to conform to it, or to attempt to change the culture. As white western male from an English heritage, I have less difficulty conforming to universty's cultural norms, but even I have problems occasionally (being an on-line international student at a Canadian university throws up some subtle cultural issues).

Oosterlinck, Debackere and Cielen (2002) argue that basic and applied research were separate until forced together by ICT and biotechnology commercialisation successes starting in the 1970s. I don't find this argument very convincing. While such an R&D approach has been popularized in recent years, as for example by Segal (1985), commercialization of research has been a feature for at least one hundred years. As an example, the Cambridge Scientific Instrument Company was formed in the late 1800s, exploiting scientific expertise at Cambridge University.

Oosterlinck, Debackere and Cielen (2002) claim that during the 1990s universities changed from being government funded organisations motivated by pure research to partnerships with industry having protection of intellectual property to consider. However, it is not clear which universities in what countries the authors have in mind. Outside a few prominent intuitions in the USA, universities are typically funded by government, or through student fees, not by royalties from R&D.

Oosterlinck, Debackere and Cielen (2002) argues that the education of students was the traditional way "universities transferred their know how to society". However, universities are also seen as catalysts of economic development through research. As an example, the Australian National University was conceived in the last 1940s to foster national development, though research (Foster, Glynn & Varghese, 2009).

Hallinan (1996) argues that educators and social science researchers are responding to different "pressures" and have different "agendas". Hallinan's proposes to have staff who's job it is to "link basic and applied research" but this seems doomed to failure, if the social, and cultural backgrounds do not align.

Hallinan gives the example of a US state education system where researchers were asked to suggest changes to schooling to address a funding crisis. Hallinan argued that the school administrators ignored the researcher's advice because their priority was how to reduce the budget. This seems to me to be stating the obvious: the researchers were not answering the question asked and so their advice was ignored. While not made explicit by Hallinan, the researchers also ignored the political priorities: for example it is politically infeasible to argue for larger class sizes, regardless of what research shows.

If researchers want the results of their research to be used by practitioners, then they need to research issues of relevance to educators. They also need to present the results in a form which can be easily understood. If the researchers want their results to be adopted, they then have to consider what various groups are aiming to achieve and which aspects of their results will appeal to which groups. At this point the researcher is leaving the field of research and entering politics. Those who choose not to do this must accept that the extent to which their research influences policy will depend on others who interpret their research.

Can Research Integrate MOOCs into Distance Education?

An example of a research topic which is topical for educators and com puter scientists is the role of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). The claims made for the benefits of MOOCs are now being replaced by concerns over real benefits in the popular media. This creates a risk that governments, universities and students may conclude that because MOOCs did not "work", therefore online Distance Education (DE) in general, does not work. There is then a need for DE research to work out what went wrong with MOOCs and incorporate lessons learned in online education. This could go beyond experimental techniques which compare MOOC and non-MOOC teaching.

Survey techniques could be used to find out what costs students have in relation to MOOCs. As an example, do students purchase additional computer equipment, or networking, to be able to undertake MOOCs? Do they purchase additional study materials or equipment? Does the low completion rate of MOOCs increase their real cost to the students?

The proponents of MOOCs emphasize the value for those who have not had access to education, particularly in developing nations. However, indications so far are that the MOOC students tend to already have degrees and are from developed countries. Why aren't those without university qualifications in developing nations taking up these courses? Is it because the courses are in a language they do not speak, because the topics will not help with their employment, or because they do not have time to study? Is the cultural context of the course inappropriate? These questions might be better addressed by having the educators and the students actively involved in determining the direction of the research, not some impartial observers.

Glance, Forsey & Riley (2013) looked at the educational design claims made for MOOCs and the reality. They note that the use of short videos, popularized by the Khan Academy, is an adaptation of the technique of tutoring with formative feedback, found to be effective by Bloom (1984). However, some other of the approaches found effective in research have yet to be incorporated into MOOCs. For example, it was suggested by Bloom (1984):

"If students develop good study habits, devote more time to the learning, improve their reading skills, and so on, they will be better able to learn from a particular teacher and course - even though neither the course nor the teacher has undergone a change process."

The study habits, time spent and reading skills do not appear to be directly addressed in current MOOCs. Conventional universities, and their online equivalents, do address study skills, through optional training available to the student. The same might be incorporated in the MOOC by some form of quiz, which would asses the student's needs and refer them to a preparatory course. This raises the issue of the relationships of those involved.

Transactional Distance Theory and DE

Murphy and Rodriguez-Manzanares (2008) characterize Transactional Distance (TD) as a metaphor for the quality of communication between participants (typically in education being the student and teacher) being described as a distance. The researchers give an example of the application of TD to research interviews were conducted with 20 educators and the transcripts subject to analysis to characterize categories of common concepts. The educators described the "fear" and "anxiety" students were perceived to have (it should be noted that the students were not interviewed). The educators attribute this fear to the "lack of visual cues".

Murphy and Rodriguez-Manzanares (2008) go on to describe techniques use to overcome the perceived isolation the students and teachers feel. However, an issue which computer scientists are likely to have with this, and much of this form of research, is that it is based on analysis of the transcript of an interview. While it is useful to obtain opinions as to what is happening, computer scientists may not see this as a sufficient substitute for an experiment, comparing a group of students provided with a visual video conference interface and those not. The opinion of 20 educators also might not be seen by policy makers as sufficient evidence upon which to make decision on structuring education involving billions of dollars of public money.

Garrison (2000) introduces Moore's theory of transactional distance, which I suggest could be the key to improving computer scientists understanding of technology based distance education. Garrison asserts that "Asynchronous collaborative learning may well be the defining technology of the postindustrial era of distance education". This may be overstating the case and the division of online communication into asynchronous and synchronous may be a flawed theory.

The terms "Synchronous" and "Asynchronous" were borrowed by educators from the discipline of computer science, but may have been misapplied (Worthington, 2013). It may be feasible to produce software which combines both synchronous and asynchronous communication seamlessly (Worthington, June 2013). There will then be the need for educational theory to explain how this functions and guide its application in applications such as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).

Action Research for Education of Professional

McWilliam (2004) discusses the "ethos of research disinterestedness", and contrasts this with of practitioner research, in particular "action research". With this the practitioner sets out to investigate an issue or solve a problem usually related to their day-to-day work. What is not clear is if this is driven by a wish to improve practice, or gain academic recognition, by being able to publish this research.

Under the Australian higher education system, Masters degrees are awarded not only for research, but also for project work and practice-related learning (AQF 2013). Australian Doctoral Degrees are awarded to those who "research, investigate and develop new knowledge, in one or more fields of investigation, scholarship or professional practice" (AQF 2013). This acknowledges the activity of investigating and developing professional practice, alongside "research".

One way to make the social science research techniques used in the education discipline more acceptable to computer scientists, I suggest, would be to emphasize its use for education. Action Research involves the researcher being actively involved in what is being researched, which is an approach generally not acceptable in the "hard" sciences. However, it is acceptable, and expected, for a practitioner to be involved with their projects and clients. Also it is expected that the practitioner will reflect on their practice, to improve it. This is also expected of teachers of science. Emphasizing this aspect would therefore make Action Research more acceptable, perhaps with the term "research" removed. This does not preclude the formal publication of such work, nor of recognition for it.

Conclusion

The computer science discipline provide the infrastructure for online distance education, in terms of new networking technology and software. It is therefore important that members of that discipline can be involved in education research, for the benefit of their own students and in development of educational technology. However, education research needs to be explained to computer scientists in a way they find palatable. Techniques such as action research, transnational distance theory, and even approaches such as postmodernist and feminist theory, can be made palatable to computer scientists if they can be shown to address problems not tractable with the experimental scientific method. Computer Scientist can also be engaged in the development of new educational theory and the software to support it, of importance to distance education, specifically the integration of synchronous and asynchronous features for Massive Open Online Courses.

References

Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). Advisory Board (2013). Australian Qualifications Framework: implementation handbook. Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) Advisory Board From http://www.aqf.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/AQF-2nd-Edition-January-2013.pdf

Bell, F. (2011). Connectivism: Its place in theory-informed research and innovation in technology-enabled learning. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 12(3).

Bloom, B. S. (1984). The 2 sigma problem: The search for methods of group instruction as effective as one-to-one tutoring. Educational researcher, 4-16. From http://dx.doi.org/10.3102/0013189X013006004

Carver, J.; Jaccheri, L.; Morasca, Sandro; Shull, F. (2003, September). Issues in using students in empirical studies in software engineering education, Software Metrics Symposium, 2003. Proceedings. Ninth International , vol., no., pp.239,249, 3-5. http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/METRIC.2003.1232471

Cattermole, M. J. G. (1987). The Cambridge Scientific Instrument Company from 1881 to 1968. IEE Proceedings A (Physical Science, Measurement and Instrumentation, Management and Education, Reviews), 134(4), 351-358.

Foster, S. G. (Stephen Glynn) & Varghese, Margaret M & Australian National University (ANU) (2009). The making of the Australian National University 1946-1996. ANU E Press, Canberra, A.C.T From http://press.anu.edu.au/?p=31641

Garg, K., & Varma, V. (2008, February). People issues relating to software engineering education and training in India. In Proceedings of the 1st India software engineering conference (pp. 121-128). ACM. http://dx.doi.org.virtual.anu.edu.au/10.1145/1342211.1342235

Garrison, D. R. (2000). Theoretical challenges for distance education in the 21st century. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 1(1). Retrieved November 29, 2002 from: http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/2/22

Glance, D., Forsey, M., & Riley, M. (2013). The pedagogical foundations of massive open online courses. First Monday, 18(5). doi:10.5210/fm.v18i5.4350 From http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/viewArticle/4350/3673

Hallinan, M. T. (1996). Bridging the gap between research and practice. Sociology of education, 69, 131-134.

Hazzan, O. (2002). The reflective practitioner perspective in software engineering education. Journal Of Systems And Software, 63(3), 161-171. doi:10.1016/S0164-1212(02)00012-2

McWilliam, E. (2004) W[h]ither practitioner research? The Australian Educational Researcher, 31(2), 113-126. DOI: 10.1007/BF03249522

Murphy, E., & Rodriguez-Manzanares, M. A. (2008). Revisiting transactional distance theory in a context of web-based high-school distance education. The Journal of Distance Education, 22(2), 1-14.

Oosterlinck, A., Debackere, K., & Cielen, G. (2002). Balancing basic and applied research. EMBO reports, 3(1), 2-5.

Parnas, D. L. (1999). Software engineering programs are not computer science programs. Software, IEEE, 16(6), 19-30. http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/52.805469

Quaye, S. (2007). Voice of the Researcher: Extending the Limits of What Counts as Research. Journal Of Research Practice, 3(1),

Ridley, G., & Young, J. (2012). Theoretical approaches to gender and IT: examining some Australian evidence. Information Systems Journal, 22(5), 355-373. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2575.2012.00413.x

Segal Quince Wicksteed. (1985). The Cambridge phenomenon: The growth of high technology industry in a university town. Segal Quince Wicksteed.

Solomon, D. L. (2000). Toward a Post-Modern Agenda in Instructional Technology. From http://www.jstor.org.virtual.anu.edu.au/stable/30220282

Squire, K. (2002). Cultural framing of computer/video games. Game Studies, 2(1), 10p.. From http://gamestudies.org/0102/squire/

Tucker, A. B. (1996). Strategic directions in computer science education. ACM Computing Surveys (CSUR), 28(4), 836-845. http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/242223.246876

Worthington, T. (2013). Synchronizing Asynchronous Learning: Combining Synchronous and Asynchronous Techniques. In Proceedings of 2013 8th International Conference on Computer Science & Education (ICCSE), 26 Apr - 28 Apr 2013 , Sri Lanka. From: http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/ICCSE.2013.6553983

Worthington, T (2013, June , 18). Software for Synchronised Asynchronous Constructivist e-Learning. retrieved May 30 2014, from ANU Student Research Opportunities Web Site: http://cecs.anu.edu.au/projects/pid/0000000912

Business Analysis

Proposed Business Idea for Open Innovation Courses

Business Opportunity

Overview

A new for-profit proprietary company, provisionally called the "Innovation Learning Unit" (ILU) will provide courses in entrepreneurship "co-sourced" with Canberra's government and leading universities. The company will be created using the start-up services of the joint government/university "Canberra Innovation Network" (CBRIN) in partnership with staff and students of the universities. The company will then provide DE courses to aid CBRIN in revitalizing the Canberra economy, moving it from one dependent on federal government agencies, to high-tech start-up private enterprise. These courses will then be marketed for similar start-up schemes around the world.

Students from the Australian National University and the University of Canberra who enter the Innovation ACT start-up program at CBRIN (Avada, 2015) will be provided with on-line course modules and receive course credit at their institution. The courses will be offered through the two universities, using course materials provided by ILU and teaching staff provided by ILU and the universities.After being proven in Canberra, services will be offered on-line to cities and regions around the world. The option of a full turnkey service will be offered, where the complete course and tutors are provided. The option of customizing courses for local conditions will be offered, along with the mentoring of local staff in how to teach the courses.

As well benefiting Canberra directly through the delivery of courses in entrepreneurship, the ILU is intended to be a showcase for distance education course design and cooperation between private and public organizations, an area in which Canberra's universities are deficient.



Current State of Business

Type of organization: Regional Government and government owned universities.

In 2014 the ACT Government announced the "CBR Innovation Network" (CBRIN) to support "growth oriented companies and entrepreneurs" (ACT Government, 2014). CBRIN has an office in the Canberra CBD one block from the campus of the Australian National University, but also has "a charter of outreach that establishes multiple delivery points or partner delivery arrangements" (ACT Government, 2014). The aim is to turn the Australian Capital Territory, where Canberra is located, into a location for high technology industry, similar to Silicon Valley USA, although a better model would be with the "Cambridge Phenomenon" of start-ups around Cambridge University, UK (Segal Quince & Partners, 1985).

Stakeholders in CBRIN include the Australian National University (ANU) and the University of Canberra. The ANU and University of Canberra are constituted under legislation which requires them to take account of the needs of the region in which they are located. Section 5 of the Australian National University Act 1991 (Cth) and Section 6 of the University of Canberra Act 1989 (ACT) set out very similar functions for the institutions, which in addition to undertaking teaching and research include engaging in extension activities, professional and vocational education and the needs of the Australian Capital Territory. The ANU is in addition required to "pay attention to its national and international roles". Despite the requirement to undertake regional and international roles, the University of Canberra and ANU each have only one main campus, both located in Canberra. This suggests that e-learning is a way to fulfill that role as a new business venture launched through CBRIN

Current state of DE business: Limited to a few courses, none on the topic of innovation.

An example of one of the few courses currently offered online at the Australian National University related to innovation is "ICT Sustainability" (ANU, 2015b). This uses a traditional DE format of twelve weekly units, with contributions to student discussion forums for 20% of assessment and assignments 80%.The University of Canberra and ANU both offer innovation courses in Canberra, some in blended mode, but none purely on-line. The University of Canberra has a Bachelor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (University of Canberra, 2012b), with units such as "Managing Change and Innovation" (University of Canberra, 2012a), offered in blended mode (with 39 hours on-campus).

ANU has entrepreneurial courses in business and engineering programs:

  1. Entrepreneurship and Innovation, MGMT3027 (ANU, n.d. b),

  2. Innovation and Commercialisation, MGMT7165 (ANU, n.d. c),

  3. "Engineering Innovation" ENGN3230 (ANU.n.d. a),

  4. "Technology and Innovation Management and Strategy" MGMT7106 (ANU.n.d. d).

However, these are courses have largely the format of a conventional lecture and examination based university program, are not integrated with the Innovation ACT competition and not aligned with external skills standards. In 2015 ANU commenced TechLauncher (ANU, 2015c), which offers students to opportunity to undertake development of a business idea and encourages students to then enter the Innovation ACT competition. However, like the other Canberra university courses, this uses predominately face-to-face teaching methods. In addition to it not being developed for DE delivery, this makes it difficult for the course to scale to have thousands, rather than hundreds, of students.

DE technology supported: University of Canberra and ANU both use Moodle, supported by the same private company. ILU will deliver courses using the same hosting service.

DE support: University of Canberra and ANU use a private company for technical support of their hosted Moodle service and contracted companies to deliver some courses. As an example, "ICT Sustainability" (ANU, 2015b) is delivered by a contracted company, with a "second examiner" from the university staff to maintain quality control. This model will be followed for the ILU: with the company contracted to the universities to deliver courses, working alongside university staff.

Proposal

ILU will be bootstrapped trough CBRIN and then provide courses to its participants. As a first step ILU will be proposed as a project of the Innovation ACT program (Avada, 2015). Staff and students from the University of Canberra and ANU will be invited to help prepare the business plan for the company, as their entry in the competition and share in the ownership. ILU will then apply to enter CBRIN's incubator program to obtain seed funding for the project. With the seed funding ILU design and deliver courses on innovation to students of the universities involved in CBRIN's programs. Students will participate in the courses provided by ILU, through their respective institutions and receive course credit. The service will then be offered on-line to other regions around the world, particularly in developing nations and those in China and India, which Canberra's universities have links with.

Type of business: for-profit proprietary company, having a minimum of permanent staff, delivering on-line courses on innovation, through higher education institutions using open access course materials. The courses would be designed and delivered by contractors, including academics from Canberra's universities and initially delivered to the students of these institutions. An example of this business model is the Australian Computer Society's "ACS Virtual College" (ACS, 2015), which has part-time administrative staff and contracts academics from Australian universities to design and deliver online courses.

Changes needed: Participating universities will need to accept the innovation courses as part of their programs. University subject-matter experts will need to work with the ILU's instructional designers to produce harmonized learning outcomes which are compatible with each institution. Each course would need to be submitted by the university subject-matter experts for approval at University of Canberra and ANU for at each program it is to be used in. However, approval for one program should make approval more widely at these institutions relatively simple. Approval by ANU would aid the adoption of the course elsewhere, due to its status as one of the world's top 50 institutions (TES, 2015).

Impact on the current system: The new shared courses may replace some university specific units. The Australian National University and the University of Canberra, already use the same company to support Moodle. The company Netspot, describes the process of their staff working with the university staff as "co-sourcing" (Netspot, 2010). With this approach staff of the university work alongside those of the company. It is proposed to extend this approach to the design of courses, to have staff from both universities working together to design and delivery courses using a cooperative model.

The "co-sourcing" model is already used by ANU for the delivery of the course "ICT Sustainability" (ANU, 2015b) and for the development of

open source computer code plagiarism detection tool supported by Netspot (Le, Carbone, Sheard, Schuhmacher, de Raath & Johnson, 2013). Also there is contact and collaboration of the staff between the universities (attending each other's training courses for example). Little of this appears publicly as the institutions market themselves as separate entities to different groups of students. The "co-sourcing" approach through a third party company is proposed as a way the universities can cooperate where necessary and at other times compete.

Proposed Products/Services

The new DE unit will design and deliver courses for higher education learning in innovation.

Why innovation courses: The Australian Government's research indicates that "Australia ranks poorly compared to European Union countries on new-to-market goods and service innovation (9%), well behind countries like Germany (17%) or Sweden (26%)." (Australia. Dept. of Industry, p. 3, 2014). The report also notes that Australian R&D investment is concentrated in mining and primary industries, which are not potential growth areas for Canberra, being predominately a service sector center, providing government administration and education. The proposed courses will complement the ACT Government's innovation policies and initiatives, which are designed to stimulate new service industries in Canberra.

Delivery of Courses: Courses will be delivered to students through Moodle, but be designed to be ported to other Learning Management Systems, if required, using an IMS/SCORM compliant subset of HTML 5 (full SCORM compliance would be too restrictive). Courses and course design services will then be offered worldwide, with the option of courses delivered through a local university, or badged and delivered remotely. Tailoring of courses will be limited to keep down development and maintenance costs and as it will be assumed that a marketing edge will be provided by the association of the courses with leading universities in Canberra.

Proposed courseware:

2015: "An Introduction to Innovation" Introductory module, drafted as an assignment for MDDE 604 and available in Moodle.

2015: "Basic Entrepreneurship" Second module to be designed as an assignment for MDDE 622, July 2015. To be offered for Innovation ACT participants at not cost and used as an Innovation ACT competition entry.

2016: "Innovation and Entrepreneurship" Standard size twelve week online Moodle course (incorporating "An Introduction to Innovation" and "Basic Entrepreneurship" modules). To be designed with seed funding in the CBRIN Incubator and piloted in Innovation ACT 2016 at no charge to the universities, using university staff with 100 students.

2017: Course delivered under contract to universities using their existing Moodle service (hosted by Netspot), with 1,000 students.

2018: Course offered worldwide using cloud LMS contracted directly to ILU,

100,000 students.

Potential Impact of Proposed Change

Canberra, Australia's capital city, has government administration as its primary employer and economic activity. The Australian Government is reducing the size of the Australian Public Service (APS), reducing new recruiting and retiring current staff early. Canberra's local government (the Australian Capital Territory "ACT" government), is seeking new areas of economic activity for Canberra, to make up for the reduction in federal employment, to encourage both new entrants to the workforce and former public servants to stay in Canberra.

After government administration, Canberra's second industry is higher education (with two major university campuses in Canberra). One ACT Government strategy to keep graduates and former public servants in Canberra is to assist them to start a new business. The ACT Government and the higher education institutions have created a number of initiatives to help university students and former public servants create with new "start-up" companies.

The higher education institutions have some programs and courses related to innovation, but these are not integrated with the government/university innovator initiatives. Also these courses are not offered by DE, so students have to leave their workplace to attend and the courses cannot be offed outside Canberra. The course materials are "closed" proprietary content and so cannot be shared between institutions or shared with commercial partners.

Why the organization wishes to change: Canberra's universities are facing national and international competition for students. Currently they do not have viable DE products, nor internal units capable of producing such products. The result is that Canberra faces a decline in student enrollments and the loss of a significant part of the local economy.

Impact on current operations: The new DE course will not replace any current courses universities. Current teaching staff will be invited to take part in the design and delivery of the new courses, either as part of their normal duties (in which case there is no cost to ILU), or as paid consultants, which is allowed and actively encouraged by the universities.

Market Analysis

The Current Market

1. Size and demographic overview of the market:

No breakdown of enrollments in programs related to innovation were available from the universities. However, the universities between them have approximately 34,000 students. Two main fields of study which an innovation course is likely to appeal to are "management and commerce" and "information technology", which made up 24% and 3.3% of Australia's post-school enrollments in 2014 (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2014), giving a potential market of more than 9,000 students in Canberra.

Institution

Students

The Australian National University

19,244

University of Canberra

14,494

Total ACT

33,738

ACT University Enrollments 2014 [Excerpt from Table (i) (c): Summary of student numbers(a) - List of Higher Education Institutions, first half year 2014 (Department of Education and Training, 2014)]

The ANU's TechLauncher program, which commenced in 2015 has 118 participants in 24 teams, undertaking projects in conjunction with CBRIN and so provide a useful group to pilot the course with (no equivalent statistics were available for University of Canberra). Three of the TechLauncher projects being undertaken by the students are to build on-line tools to support the program itself: "Online Platform for InnovationACT", "TechLauncher Management System" and "Better Webinar Tool For Teaching" (ANU, 2015c). The third of these is planned to be a student startup company, indicating the willingness of the ANU staff to foster and work with the private sector.For ANU in 2013 (the latest year statics are available for), 74% of the students are domestic and 26% International (ANU, 2014). The high proportion of international students may provide an opportunity for DE courses. There are sightly more female (52%) than male students (ANU, 2014). The students are predominately full time (68%) also providing scope for more part time DE students.

2. Current DE products, support and services:

The ANU does not currently have a central unit dedicated to course development. The University of Canberra manages course development through a Teaching and Learning Center (University of Canberra, 2011). The term "Learning Innovation Unit" is commonly used for the name of the internal origination unit in a higher education institution which provides assistance to staff with teaching techniques including e-learning (MacKeogh & Fox, 2008). The name "Innovation Learning Unit" is intended to reflect that the company is not simply providing packaged courses in innovation but helping the universities undertake education in a new way. This business name is available for use in Australia (ASIC, 2015).

3. First market segments:

The students easily identified for innovation courses are the 118 participants in ANU's TechLauncher initiative, along with approximately the same number undertaking Innovation ACT (Avada, 2015) through University of Canberra.

4. Buying decision maker:

At some universities the decisions on the purchase of courses is decided at a college level, but would likely require the agreement of a central Teaching and Learning Center, such as that at University of Canberra (2011). ILU will have been formed by staff and students of the universities, and developed from within their joint initiative (CBRIN). Courses would be developed and delivered by staff of the universities, making the universities comfortable with a decision to use them. Courses would have Creative Commons open access licenses, allowing the universities the option of moving courses in-house if they wished.

The Future Market

Potential opportunities: Just about every city and region of the world aspires to be a center for high technology business startups. Courses designed for the ACT could be offered in decustomised form for other regions of the world taking advantage of Australia's reputation for higher education as part of the marketing. One recent example of a region which has set up similar innovation competitions to Canberra is the Gauteng province of South Africa (Gauteng Department of Economic Development, 2013). Gauteng has a state sponsored "Innovation Hub" which has close parallels to the Canberra Innovation Network. The Innovation Hub's GAP Innovation Competitions are similar to Canberra's Innovation ACT competition (Avada, 2015), requiring attendance. Customized versions of the Canberra on-line courses could be delivered for Gauteng, branded with the Gauteng province logo and with the cooperation of local academics.

Canberra's universities have partnerships with institutions around the world and particularly in China. The ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science (which runs the TechLauncher program) currently has articulation agreements with: Beijing Institute of Technology, China University of Mining and Technology, Dalian Neusoft University of Information, Liaoning University, and Shandong University at Weihai (ANU, 2015 d). The usual pattern for partnerships is for the students to undertake the first few years of their education in China, before they travel to Canberra to complete their degree (usually Honors, Masters). The transition from one country and education system can be abrupt for the students. The availability of DE offers the opportunity for the students to undertake some of their study "in" Canberra, with local students on-line.

Evolution of technology and requirements:

Customer Profile

Current and future customers: Canberra's universities and the Treasury and Economic Development Directorate of the ACT Government (partners in the Canberra Innovation Network and Innovation ACT).

Numbers, locations and needs: Initially approximately 300 students located in Canberra. Complete standard Australian university courses (12 weeks x 10 hours student work per week, one quarter full time load), and modules.

Reason to buy the product: No online innovation courses are currently available from Canberra's universities and limited capability to produce such modules. The ACT Government and universities will have the opportunity to market Canberra as a location for hi-tech start-up activities.

Target population type description of each customer group: Students would be undertaking Science, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and business programs. The staff of Canberra's universities, who would make the decision to allow DE courses, have tended not to be accepting of this form of education.

Teaching staff of Australian universities have primarily come though a system where they undertake a PHD in their discipline, but receive no formal training in teaching or course design. New staff are given a class and told to go and "lecture". This presents an opportunity through "co-sourcing" to offer to work with the staff on new forms of course deliverer.

Potential Customer Sensitivities

The ACT Government needs to be seen to be helping provide economic growth and jobs. One issue is over the size and nature of companies involved. Political considerations would prefer, on the one hand attracting large multinational companies and on the other supporting very small enterprises, but neither will likely assist with innovation. The growth area for innovation is with new start-ups growing into large companies.

Higher education institutions in Canberra are competing for local students and so will need some way to retain product differentiation, while cooperating on course development. Both the ACT Government and education institutions will each want to retain exclusive ownership of all intellectual property and oppose use of open content. To some extent offering courses to other regions will conflict with the aim of promoting Canberra.

The universities are primarily concerned with attracting student enrollments, particularly international enrollments. One sensitivity is that government regulations only allow international students to take a maximum of 25% of their courses online (Department of Education and Training, 2007). Full time enrollment for an Australian university is four courses, so this would allow students to undertake only one DE course at a time.

One key consideration is accreditation of programs by professionals bodies, such as those for engineering, accounting and computer science. The use of carefully designed DE courses will be a positive as these can be designed to incorporate accreditation requirements (many courses are post-hoc analysis to fit accreditation).

Price is less of an issue with Australian university courses, as the Australian government subsidies course fees and is planning to remove the current cap to allow fees to rise. Quality is also not an issue, as universities market their programs based on the research reputation of the institution, not the quality of courses offered. One exception is student feedback scores for courses and programs, which have become a mandatory government requirement. Staff used to lecture style delivery are experiencing difficulty with students who expect an online experience. This is an area ILU could assist with, however, senior academics may feel threatened by new ways of teaching.

The impact of offering one online course is unlikely to be seen as helping reduce staff costs, or as a threat to jobs by existing staff. An additional course will also not impact network or LMS infrastructure. Australia's universities have a high capacity fiber optic network infrastructure and the commercial LMS provider uses cloud technology to be able to increase demand as required.

Analysis of the Competition

Current Competitors

Market/industry sector: The major competition of a DE innovation course comes not from courses offered at Canberra's universities but from Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS). University staff, and the students, will ask why they should purchase a DE course, when they can get a MOOC for free. As detailed below, these MOOCS do not offer accredited, recognized qualification and are mostly not "free" and so are not real competition for IUL. However, this perception of "free" courses will be difficult to combat and it is therefore necessary to look at what MOOCS offer and how to compete with them. Here are some innovation related MOOCS:

  1. Innovation and Enterprise, from Loughborough University through FutureLearn: "Managing the innovation process is neither a scientific process nor a black art. We will explore a model for innovation."

  2. 3.086x: Innovation and Commercialization, from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, through edX: "Covers from human process of innovating to innovation ecosystems."

  3. Entrepreneurship: Launching an Innovative Business, from University of Maryland through Coursera: "How to develop the business model with attention to value propositions, customer segments, channels, customer relationships, revenue models, partners, and resources, activities, and costs."

Products and services: The edX consortium (set up by MIT) offers "Verified Certificate of Achievement" for individual courses and "XSeries Certificates" for specific sequences of courses. The Verified Certificate of Achievement typically cost US$25 to US$100. There is no Innovation related XSeries Certificate currently offered by edX, but that for "Educational Technology", costs US$275 (four courses at US$50 each plus US$75 program fee).

The FutureLearn consortium (set up by Open University UK) will be offering a "Statement of Attainment" by examination, through an agreement with Pearson for £119 (approximately US$189) for some courses (Parr, 2015). However, it is still not clear if this statement will be accepted by accredited universities.

Coursera, unlike edX or FutureLearn, has a "Specialization" in innovation. This consists of three courses and a "capstone" (in place of an examination). The capstone has assignments very similar to those of a conventional course, on the topics: business model, customer analysis, marketing and sales strategy, business plan and pitch. The specialization costs US$204 and takes a minimum of 60 hours study (3 courses x 4 weeks x 3 hours a week + 1 capstone x 6 weeks x 4 hours per week).

Price charged: Australian universities typically charge around $3,000 to $4,000 per course (ANU, 2015a), so a reasonable wholesale rate would be $750 per student per course. Where universities are providing their own teaching staff the cost per course would be lower.

Where is the Overlap?

Canberra universities already offer some blended and face-to-face innovation courses. MOOC providers in other countries already offer some innovation courses fully on-line to Canberra students.

Future Competition

Future competition could come from on-shore campuses of international DE for-profit universities. An example of this new world is Torrens University, Australia's first DE university. Torrens was admitted to the Australian National Register of higher education providers in July 2012, as an "Australian University", allowing its Australian students to qualify for government subsided study loans.

Torrens is part of Laureate Education Inc., which is reported to be preparing for a $1B float in the USA. This is likely result in pressure on Torrens to keep costs down in Australia by using off-shore courses and tutors from its global network. Torrens is under no obligation to employ staff in Australia to design courses or teach Australian students and therefore can offer "Australian" branded university qualifications without having to pay Australian salaries to its teaching staff.

Torrens is required to have staff with qualifications for each discipline the university is teaching in, these staff would be expected to be normally based in Australia (they are not required to be Australian citizens), but are not required to undertake any teaching. Torrens currently has four academic staff: a Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic & Research) and one associate professors for each discipline: Business, Public Health and Education (Torrens University Australia, 2015). In addition there are three adjunct professors. Torrens is not limited in the number of students it can enroll with this limited staff, as the teaching can be undertaken by on-line tutors from Laureate Education Inc in other countries. Torrens staff must show that they have a quality control system in place to ensure those teaching are qualified under Australian standards, but those actually carrying out the teaching need not be in Australia, be Australian citizens or paid at Australian salary levels. This represents a considerable threat to Australia's traditional universities and may make them more conducive to ILU's approach.

How To Gain the Competitive Advantage

The Coursera, specialization is closest to an Australian university course in structure, size and assessment and costs approximately one tenth as much as an Australian course. However, Coursera does not offer a recognized university qualification and so currently not a real competitor (more of a marketing tool). Australian universities have not recognized Coursera programs for credit and are unlikely to do so. However, the cost of the MOOCS might be a useful guide to the wholesale price for course-ware provided to universities. That is the cost of the course content, plus the IT system used to support it. To this would be needed to be added the cost of a tutor required for a recognized university course.

It is not feasible to compete with a MOOC purely on price. Other ways to compete are on certification, local knowledge, customization and reputation. The US and UK MOOCS are not designed for Australian students or for Australian professional and educational requirements. An Australian course can meet these requirements and be overseen by staff recognized in the Australian university system.

Australian university programs (both university and vocation education) are accredited under a common nationally mandated Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF Advisory Board, 2013). Lucey (p. 13, 2014) points out that the implementation of the AQF has aided the use of implementation of competency-based training, which is appealing to both vocational students, as their prospective employers. Adoption of the AQF standards therefore will provide a considerable competitive advantage when offering courses, as this is a government endorsement of work relevant education.

A further more detailed level of standards can be used both to aid design of courses and to offer a competitive advantage. The Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA5) is an international framework used to categorize ICT jobs and corresponding training (Butler, Sheard, Morgan, & Weerasinghe, 2015). SFIA includes a skills definition for "Innovation" (INOV, Category: Strategy & architecture, Subcategory: Business/IT strategy and planning, SFIA , 2015) and related skills such as "Business analysis"(BUAN, Category: Business change, Subcategory: Business change management, SFIA, 2015). These could be used to market the courses to institutions wishing to receive accreditation for their programs.

Business Analysis Results

Why This Business Will Succeed

Canberra's universities are facing national and international competition for students. Currently they do not have a viable innovation education product, nor viable DE products. The universities will be under increasing competition, while hampered by traditional university structures and decision making processes. The offer to buy in quality courses, quickly, using known staff will be very attractive to them.

Considerations to Move Forward

The decision making and budgeting process at Canberra's universities is critical to the venture. The institution's executives are not likely to wish to admit they do not have the capability to produce competitive innovation DE courses from within current resources. The result is that external courses will seem unnecessary and expensive. There will therefore need to be some education of the university executive in how courses are developed and budgeted, as part of the marketing of the proposal.

References

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Business Strategic Plan

Executive Summary:

Overview of Business Opportunity

A new stand-alone business, in the form of an Australian limited liability (Pty Ltd) for-profit company, provisionally called the "Innovation Learning Unit" (ILU) will provide courses in entrepreneurship "co-sourced" with Canberra's government and leading universities. ILU's business will be to provide innovation course materials as a product to universities and, optionally, provide tutoring so that the courses can be delivered as a service on behalf of universities. Pilot course material is in Worthington (2016).

The company will be created using the start-up services of the joint government/university "Canberra Innovation Network" (CBRIN, 2015), which provides training, office space, start-up funding, accounting and marketing advice to university students, university academics, and former public servants in Canberra wishing to start a company. The company will be part owned by the the staff and students involved in its establishment. The company will provide DE courses to aid CBRIN in revitalizing the Canberra economy, transforming the city from one dependent on federal government agencies, to high-tech start-up center for private enterprise. These courses will then be marketed for similar start-up schemes around the world.

As well benefiting Canberra directly through the delivery of courses in entrepreneurship, the ILU is intended to be a showcase for distance education course design and cooperation between private and public organizations, an area in which Canberra's universities are deficient.

Business Overview

In 2014 the ACT Government announced the "CBR Innovation Network" (CBRIN) to support "growth oriented companies and entrepreneurs" (ACT Government, 2014). CBRIN has an office in the Canberra CBD one block from the campus of the Australian National University, but also has "a charter of outreach that establishes multiple delivery points or partner delivery arrangements" (ACT Government, 2014). CBRIN hosts start-up competitions for Canberra's university students, a "co-working" space where new companies can be established and a "incubator" to help fund the expansion of the companies. The aim is to uses these facilities to turn the Australian Capital Territory, where Canberra is located, into a location for high technology industry, similar to Silicon Valley USA.

Market Potential

The ANU and University of Canberra between them have approximately 34,000 students (Department of Education and Training, 2014). Two main fields of study which an innovation course is likely to appeal to are "management and commerce" and "information technology", which made up 24% and 3.3% of Australia's post-school enrollments in 2014 (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2014), giving a potential market for the course of more than 9,000 students in Canberra.

Simes and O'Mahony (2015) predict a need for further 100,000 ICT professionals in Australia in the next six years. The authors emphasized that almost half (47%) of these workers will be working in other professions other than ICT, requiring skills skills beyond the technical.

Competition.

The major competition of a DE innovation course will come not from courses offered at Canberra's universities but from international partners of Australian universities and courses available on-line.

Mitacs Globalink Research Internship (GRI): Nine Australian universities have entered into an agreement with Canadian not-for-profit training organization Mitacs, to provide innovation education (Universities Australia, 2015). However, currently the students are required to travel to Canada to participate, limiting participation to a small number of students. There is the risk that Canadian universities, such as UBC, who are members of Mitacs and have a distance education capability, will offer e-learning for Australian students to complement the program.

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS): Here are some innovation related MOOCS:

  1. Innovation and Enterprise, from Loughborough University through FutureLearn: "Managing the innovation process is neither a scientific process nor a black art. We will explore a model for innovation."

  2. 3.086x: Innovation and Commercialization, from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, through edX: "Covers from human process of innovating to innovation ecosystems."

  3. Entrepreneurship: Launching an Innovative Business, from University of Maryland through Coursera: "How to develop the business model with attention to value propositions, customer segments, channels, customer relationships, revenue models, partners, and resources, activities, and costs."

ILU will seek to compete with these MOOCs by offering courses developed by Canberra based universities with an international reputation, but delivered in conjunction with local institutions and part of their accredited programs.

Competition

The major competition of a DE innovation course will come not from courses offered at Canberra's universities but from Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS). Here are some innovation related MOOCS:

  1. Innovation and Enterprise, from Loughborough University through FutureLearn: "Managing the innovation process is neither a scientific process nor a black art. We will explore a model for innovation."

  2. 3.086x: Innovation and Commercialization, from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, through edX: "Covers from human process of innovating to innovation ecosystems."

  3. Entrepreneurship: Launching an Innovative Business, from University of Maryland through Coursera: "How to develop the business model with attention to value propositions, customer segments, channels, customer relationships, revenue models, partners, and resources, activities, and costs."

ILU will seek to compete with these MOOCs by offering courses developed by Canberra based universities with an international reputation, but delivered in conjunction with local institutions and part of their accredited programs.

SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) provides a way to categorize internal (strengths and weaknesses) and external aspects (opportunities and threats) in a two dimensional matrix. Dooley and Murphrey (2000) carried out SWOT analysis on the distance education delivery at a "major Research 1 university" (most likely authors' own institution: Texas A&M University). The main focus of Dooley and Murphrey's 2000 work was the different perspectives of administrators, faculty and support staff, however they did find common SWOT factors for all groups. These factors form a suitable bases for the SWOT analysis of the ILU (Table 1).

Strengths (Internal)

  1. Use of technology to enhance teaching and learning

  2. Continuous improvement of DE technologies

  3. Reputation for quality content

  4. Ability to reach new audiences and existing demand

  5. Administrative encouragement and support

  6. Presence of early adopters and proximity to technology

Weaknesses (Internal)

  1. Limited incentives, development support and funding

  2. Weak communication channels

  3. Slow action on critical issues

  4. Current technological limitations

  5. Lack of skill, expertise and desire to develop interactive DE courses.

  6. Limited knowledge regarding copyright and intellectual property

  7. Loss of interaction

Opportunities (External)

  1. Enhance audience base to reach non-traditional students

  2. Create an individualism and enhanced interactive learning experience

  3. Extensive infrastructure and network

  4. Expansion of collaboration with private and public institutions

  5. Provide unique and specialized courses and programs

Threats (External)

  1. Career and job security

  2. Competition from private and public institutions

  3. Misinformation on the Internet

  4. Quality measurement issues

  5. Dependence on outside developers and programmers

  6. Security concerns

SWOT factors for ILU (adapted from Dooley and Murphrey, 2000)

SWOT Analysis Summary

Strengths (Internal):

ILU can build on the existing relationships between Canberra's universities, government and business working through the Canberra Innovation Network (CBRIN). These are in part formal agreements, but more importantly personal relationships between people from the different organization and sectors. This provides the infrastructure for establishing a new start-up company to provide innovation courses. There is a supply of funds from Canberra "Angel" investors and staff with e-learning expertise at Canberra's institutions.

The use of a company which the university staff can work through will allow better use of the expertise available in the universities, without the restrictions imposed by internal university bureaucracy. At the same time improvement in DE technologies and techniques can be applied without having to wait for university approval processes. At the same time the ILU can make use of the reputation for quality of the universities to promote its products and services.

  1. Use of technology to enhance teaching and learning: ILU can build on the foundation of existing technology used by Canberra's universities for teaching (Moodle). This will allow teaching students across the the universities without the need for complex coordination arrangements.

  2. Continuous improvement of DE technologies: While CBRIN supports any form of start-up, many are focused on web technology, some are already applicable to e-learning and more can be created to support the ILU. As an example, current projects include one for managing courses, analysis of student data and helping students select courses (ANU,. 2015b). This technology can be quickly transferred to ILU for teaching.

  3. Reputation for quality content: While ILU will be a new organization, it can make use of the relationship with Canberra's universities and their rankings in university league tables. Also that courses for Australian university degrees are required to meet the government mandated Australian Qualifications Framework (2013), will be an advantage.

  4. Ability to reach new audiences and existing demand: ILU will not have the impediment of having to maintain a fixed infrastructure for face-to-face courses. A small low cost service can be provided to support the local demand from Canberra's universities and then expanded as required. A cloud based LMS will allow the capacity to be expanded quickly to move from dozens, to hundreds to hundreds of thousands of students.

  5. Administrative encouragement and support: Use of on-line learning and encouragement of innovation for students is a priority for Canberra's universities. ILU's initiatives are therefore likely to receive support.

  6. Presence of early adopters and proximity to technology: ILU will be located in CBRIN's co-working office space in Canberra's CBD, adjacent to the ANU campus, in an area favored by education and IT support companies.

Weaknesses (Internal)

Australia's university sector and government education expert programs are orientated towards on-shore face-to-face "in-bound" delivery. Distance education course development is therefore unlikely to receive support from university executive or government export programs, as they will be seen as threatening the current higher education business model. Canberra's universities may compete, rather than cooperate on course development.

1. Limited incentives, development support and funding: As ILU will primarily use part-time staff who are already employed at universities, their work for ILU will likely be a lower priority and will not provide the opportunities for academic advancement which faculty staff expect. The ILU will also use part time support which will be limited. While ILU can call on start-up funding through CBRIN, this will still be limited. ILU may not be able to apply for the development funding which universities receive for new initiatives.

2. Weak communication channels: As ILU staff will be part time and remote, there will be less of the informal "water cooler" communication from sharing an office. This will need to be countered with internal social media (such as using "Yammer" as already used by ANU). Also as, at least initially, most staff will be in Canberra and the university campuses are less than 10 km apart, regular staff meetings will be possible.

3. Slow action on critical issues: ILU will be, at least initially, a small organization which will not attract top priority support from the outsourced provider of the LMS, or from its part time staff. This can be overcome by using the same LMS host company as used by the universities and, where possible, using the same versions of software. Any problem ILU has will then likely be also a problem for the major customers of the system and receive priority support.

4. Current technological limitations: Use of Moodle restricts ILU to a dated looking e-learning interface, compared with App based mobile offerings. However, this reduces the support requirements and also makes the system more usable for those in developing countries on low bandwidth links.

5. Lack of skill, expertise and desire to develop interactive DE courses: The pool of talent available with e-learning skills is limited, as Canberra's universities have placed a priority on face-to-face courses. However, this is changing and ILU can exploit the frustration of e-learning developers in Canberra who feel the universities are not making use of their skills.

6. Limited knowledge regarding copyright and intellectual property: Development of courses to be shared by multiple educational institutions using part time staff, creates a problem for the management of intellectual property. This can be circumvented by using using a Creative Commons CC BY-SA license. The "SA" ("Share Alike") license not only allows multiple institutions to use the course content freely, it also requires any upgrades to materials to be made freely available. This will allow ILU to avoid complex IP negotiations with staff and institutions: part time staff can obtain academic credit for having developed courses, without their institution being able to claim ownership of the material.

7. Loss of interaction: By its nature DE imposes a lack of interaction on an educational system. Using an external company to deliver the DE can further distance the staff and faculty from each other. ILU will counter this by attempting to become as transparent as possible, connecting students to faculty online.

Opportunities (External)

The Australian Government's research indicates that "Australia ranks poorly compared to European Union countries on new-to-market goods and service innovation (9%), well behind countries like Germany (17%) or Sweden (26%)." (Australia. Dept. of Industry, p. 3, 2014). The report also notes that Australian R&D investment is concentrated in mining and primary industries, which are not potential growth areas for Canberra, being predominately a service sector center, providing government administration and education. The IUL would provide courses which fit with the ACT Government's innovation policies and initiatives, which are designed to stimulate new service industries in Canberra. Segal Quince & Partners (1985) noted that a lack of tenure at University of Cambridge was one factor driving start-ups: those wanting to remain in the city had to create their own jobs, due to a lack of alternatives. In a simian way the lack of jobs for graduates and for public servants being made redundant from the federal government provides an incentive for those wanting to remain in Canberra. The local educational institutions have an advantage offering courses to transition from students or public service to the private sector.

The ANU and University of Canberra also jointly run the Univative Student Business Challenge (ANU, 2015). This was established by University of Wollongong (UOW) to enhance work-integrated learning (Corrin & Smith, 2007). The competition has subsequently been adopted by universities across Australia, with those in Canberra the latest to join. This is a shorter and more problem solving orientated competition for students than Innovation ACT, but it should be possible to use some of the same course modules for both. Currently there are no formal course materials for Univative and so any developed for Canberra might be resold to other universities nationally.

Former government employees looking to set up businesses and requiring training in innovation and entrepreneurship provide a secondary market for courses. The government staff involved in the Australian Government Digital Transformation Office (DTO) projects provide a further market for training. Major corporations, such as the Commonwealth Bank, which has its own internal Innovation Lab, and Telstra Corporation with its Muru-d Incubator The potential international market for innovation courses includes students of universities which those in Canberra have partnerships with. ANU's strategic alliance partner universities, particularly those in China and India, would be prime candidates, given the emphasis placed on business growth in those countries.

There is the potential for the same courses to be offered internationally and to the private sector. However, the courses would need to be proven locally first. Also the private sector may be reluctant to adopt an academic course.

Enhance audience base to reach non-traditional students: In addition to degree program students at Canberra universities (and elsewhere), the ILU can offer courses to Canberra's government employees and ex-employees, as well as company staff. CBRIN has a local government funded initiative to train ex-government employees in how to set up a private business and government agencies regularly seek training for staff who are about to leave government service:

"CBR xPS is a social mobilization initiative to explore and highlight new ways that Canberra public service professionals may choose to build on their unique expertise and experience to transition their skill-set (and mindset) from an exclusively public sector context into other work-life opportunities, including start-up enterprise." (Cofluence, 2015).

In addition, the Australian Government this year established the Digital Transformation Office (DTO), with $250M funding, to seek innovative new ways for running the country. The ILU's course offerings could be attractive to the ILU in teaching those in the government to consider more innovative ways to work.

Create an individualism and enhanced interactive learning experience: The topics of innovation and entrepreneurship which ILU will be providing courses in are more suited to an on-line environment than a traditional large lecture theater. The e-learning environment can offer the chance for the budding entrepreneur to explore the topic in a small group and work on their own project, at their own pace.

Extensive infrastructure and network: Canberra is the national capital and has extensive fiber-optic connections to the rest of Australia and to multiple international links. This provides for reliable and high speed network access with good local local technical support.

Expansion of collaboration with private and public institutions: The Australian Public Service Commission and the Australian Department of Defence are based in Canberra and responsible for training of civilian and military personnel across Australia. This provides the opportunity of delivering training by ILU to these employees.

Provide unique and specialized courses and programs: while ILU will initially deliver standardized courses designed for universities, there is also the opportunity to tailor these for specific audiences, such as government employees and military personnel.

Threats (External)

The availability of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) may make institutions and individual students reluctant to sign up for the ILU's small closed courses, where fees are charged. University staff, and the students, will ask why they should purchase a DE course, when they can get a MOOC for free. MOOCS do not offer accredited, recognized qualification and are mostly not "free" and so are not real competition for IUL. However, this perception of "free" courses will be difficult to combat and it is therefore necessary to look at what MOOCS offer and how to compete with them.

Canberra's universities cooperate in operating CBRIN and their students jointly undertake the Innovation ACT start-up program at CBRIN (Avada, 2015), however, each university is more used to completion, rather than cooperation, when it comes to developing and delivering formal fee paying courses. Where these universities cooperate it tends to be with institutions located outside Canberra. As an example, the ANU joined edX consortium in 2013 (Unis to leap on edX, 2013), whereas University of Canberra has not joined. The University of Canberra has run a Cross-Institutional Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Education with four other Australian regional universities (Vale, Tynan, & Smyth, 2009), whereas ANU went farther afield joining the UK's Higher Education Academy teacher recognition scheme (Jacob, Xiong & Ye, 2015). However, there is informal contact between the staff of all Canberra's universities at academic conferences, research projects, research grant applications and professional bodies. It is likely that such cooperation can be extended to Innovation course design and delivery, where cooperation president has already been set.

Career and job security: The ILU will be mostly making use of part time staff and this may be seen as a threat to job security by faculty at universities. However, universities will be under increasing competition from off-shore e-learning providers and a part time job at ILU providing courses delivered in conjunction with their university may be see as a useful way to keep their day job.

Competition from private and public institutions: ILU will need to compete with MOOCs and conventional e-learning courses offered to universities and directly to students. ILU can compete by partnering with the local institutions so as not to be seen as competing with them and as being seen as a quality endorsed part of the accredited Australian higher education system.

Misinformation on the Internet: ILU will need to combat the perception that e-learning courses are not to a high academic standard and that students are cheating. This can be overcome by emphasizing quality standards in marketing material, particularly the requirements of the Australian Qualifications Framework (2013).

Quality measurement issues: Courses which are on-line and have an emphasis on project work (as required for innovation) create problems for the conventional quality control systems used by universities and external quality agencies. However, ILU can make use of e-portfolio assessment to comply with Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Authority requirements (TEQSA, 2013). Johns-Boast (2014) discusses the use of e-portfolios for project based work at a Canberra university.

Dependence on outside developers and programmers: ILU will be dependent on contracted course developers and technical staff. This will be less a a problem for a typical company as these personnel will, in the main, drawn from Canberra's universities and so will be relatively stable and have a common set of qualification and training. Replacing one person from the same pool of talent will therefore be relatively straightforward.

Security concerns: All students and staff will require access to the LMS from the cloud service provider. This system will therefore need to be accessible via the Internet and so may attacked. Also the staff will have access to student data. Use of a specialist service provide who is familiar with the educational software used and so can apply appropriate security will reduce the threat. Use of contract staff who are already working at Canberra's public universities and so vetted will reduce the threat of insider attack.

Vision and Mission

Vision: Design educational materials and deliver on-line courses s on innovation and entrepreneurship, to build skills within Canberra's university students, foster those skills in Canberra and beyond. {The vision, mission and values statements draw on that of the Cambridge University Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning, as described by Vyakarnam (2005).}

Mission: Provide provide free open access course-ware and for-fee courses to help university students learn enterprise, innovation and creativity. Ensure the service is not dependent on grants and is therefore sustainable and can grow, with revenue from courses, using the freemium strategy. The organization will work with Canberra's governments and leading universities to support existing entrepreneurial initiatives and thereby provide a model for similar start-up schemes around the world.

Organizational Values - The organization will be committed to the values of academic pursuit of knowledge, integrity, collegiality, diversity staff and students and engagement with the community {derived from the strategic plan of ANU (2011)}. A spirit of co-operation and collaboration is emphasized, with a balance between academic and practical group learning. The organization aims for a triple bottom line: addressing social, environmental and financial goals, thinking globally and acting locally. The aim is to assist local educational institutions and local economies with course-ware to educate students to create new businesses. The organization will demonstrate its values by providing course-ware at no charge with a open access license. Courses will address the human side of innovation, by encouraging students to explore the role of not-for-profit enterprises, as well as for-profit ones and humanitarian as well as economic goals. These values will be reflected in the organization's approach to its own employees, customers and institutions, through "co-sourcing", which involves relationship building all in all stages of production. While a private for-profit institution, the organization's staff are drawn from academic institutions and are required to observe ethical standards for teaching as well as the standards of their professional discipline.

Multi-Year Strategic Goals:The measurable objectives suggested by Vyakarnam (2005) for an entrepreneurial learning unit are used: "the development of appropriate courses, increased student numbers and financial prudence". The one overriding strategy is to work with the Canberra's universities, so as to not be seen as a competitor. The local universities would have part ownership of ILU, using the standard processes the universities have in place for investment in start-ups through CBRIN. Academics would be paid consultants to ILU, as the are encouraged to do by their institutions (up to a set number of hours per year). The marketing plan will use social media and use Murphy and Thomson's "Loyalty Based Business Model" (p. 9, 2014). Product development undertaken by students and staff of the universities, sales online, finance via the Canberra Innovation Network's incubator and angel investors.

'Nudge Theory' would be used to use staff effectively and increase student retention to lower costs, as suggested by Simpson (p. 33, 2010). Some nudges would also be automated to improve student retention, performance and reduce staff costs. As an example, the assignment submission system would indicate to a student that their peers have submitted, thus prompting them to do so. Incentives for staff will be established as part of the HR plan. In particular, the incentives will be aligned with research finding on how students learn, so staff time is used most productively.

Goals

Strategic Goals

Related Strategic Objectives

1. Establish, manage and maintain the infrastructure required to support the unit and its growth.

1.1 Submit proposal to start-up process

1.2 Form company.


2. Produce and manage a three year financial plan.

2.1 Produce and manage a start-up budget.

2.2 Produce annual operating budgets.

2.3 Seek additional start-up funding and revenue to support business operations and planned growth.

2.4 Conduct annual audits of the unit budget process.

3. Produce a human resource (HR) plan, including for contract staff.

3.1 Produce HR Plan which includes code of conduct for staff and draft contracts.

4. Produce and implement a three year marketing and sales plan.

4.1 Sort term plan for first year (Local presentations to senior Canberra university and government officials, Mobile compatible web site, course sample, "white" paper on strategy)

4.2 Detailed plan for three years (weekly blog posts, twice annual paper in an open journal, video introductions)

5. Design and develop courseware.

5.1 Produce pilot course based on that already prepared for MDDE 604 and MDDE 622.

6. Create and implement an evaluation, quality assurance and performance measurement system.

6.1 Prepare QA plan based on university and government education standards.

6.2 Prepare performance measures based on university and government education standards.


7. Create, manage and maintain an online learning environment.

7.1 Set up minimal LMS using cloud provider.

7.2 Expand the LMS for student growth.

8. Provide e-learning services and student support.

8.1 Set up on-line student support using cloud provider.

8.2 Engaging on-line part-time staff to support students.

9. Deliver courseware.

9.1 Create courseare offering

9.2 Create courseware

10. Deliver courses.

10.1 Create course package

10.2 Deliver package

Tasks

Goal/Objective

Tasks

1.1 Submit proposal to start-up process

1.1.1 Prepare proposal as an ANU TechLauncher start-up project for students to work on from 20 July 2015 AEST (start of ANU Semester 2)

1.1.2 Prepare project for to the Innovation ACT Program a business start-up by 12 August 2015 AEST

1.2 Form company.

1.2.1 Submit formal paperwork to Securities Commission to form company.

1.2.2 Have project selected as a Griffith Accelerator assisted start-up, located at CBRIN, 31 October 2015.

2.1 Produce and manage a start-up budget.

2.1.1 Obtain initial funding from universities and angels associated with CBRIN
Objective 2.2 Have innovation and Entrepreneurship course ready for pilot with 100 Innovation ACT students, 18 July 2015

2.2 Produce annual operating budgets.

2.2.1 Budget 2015/2016

2.2.1 Budget 2016/2017

2.2.1 Budget 2017/2018

2.3 Seek additional start-up funding and revenue to support business operations and planned growth.

2.3.1 Obtain second round funding to support full scale Canberra course

2.4 Conduct annual audits of the unit budget process.

2.4.1 Audit 2015/16

2.4.3 Audit 2016/17

2.4.4 Audit 2017/18

2.4.5 Audit 2018/19

2.4.6 Audit 2019/20

4 Produce and implement a three year marketing and sales plan.

  1. Contact Australian Government's Business Enterprise Centre (BEC) for marketing advice.

  2. Produce three year plan with BEC assistance, based on Murphy and Thomson's "Loyalty Based Business Model" (p. 9, 2014).

5.1 Produce pilot course based on that already prepared for MDDE 604 and MDDE 622.

5.1.1 Review and release pilot first course in Canberra, July 2016.

5.1.2 Release revised Innovation and Entrepreneurship course, ready for 1,000 University of Canberra and ANU students, Semester 1, February 2017

Tasks

Resource Requirements

  1. Funding to start and grow: An application will be made through CBRIN for start-up funding through the ACT Government. No salaries will be paid for the start-up phase with participants receiving equity in the company.

  2. Qualified professionals for marketing plan: Canberra marketing students participating in Innovation ACT at CBRIN will be invited to join the project and prepare the marketing plan, in return for equity in the company.

  3. Qualified professionals to produce financial plan: The initial financial plan will be prepared by participants under advice from chartered accountants Duesbury Nexia, who provide free advice and training to CBRIN participants.

  4. Qualified professionals to produce and manage the course development and delivery process: Staff from Canberra's universities will be contracted to undertake the management, production and delivery of courses.

  5. Physical space to meet and work: ILU will use CBRIN rented office space. One "seat" will be sufficient for first three years of operation (provides access to meetings rooms).

  6. Access to hosted LMS: LMS will be via cloud provider. Capacity will be increased as required.

Planning Requirements

Major issues/tasks: The major issue is to identify if there is a need for such courses and what is the likely future delivery mode for courses in Canberra and in potential markets in developing nations. A problem exists where Canberra's universities are marketing themselves as face-to-face educators but actually providing blended courses with a large, poorly designed, on-line component. There is a risk the universities will refuse outside assistance to produce quality How the perspectives of administrators, faculty, and support units impact the rate of distance education adoption on-line courses and then suffer a loss of students to those institutions elsewhere who can. It may be that the universities will not realize their vulnerability to completion until it is too late.

References

ACT Government. (2014, April 9). CBR Innovation Network: A New Approach To Promoting Innovative Businesses. [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.business.act.gov.au/blog?sq_content_src=%2BdXJsPWh0dHAlM0ElMkYlMkZhY3Rnb3ZidXNpbmVzcy5ibG9nc3BvdC5jb20uYXUlMkYyMDE0JTJGMDQlMkZjYnItaW5ub3ZhdGlvbi1uZXR3b3JrLW5ldy1hcHByb2FjaC10by5odG1sJmFsbD0x

Australian National University (2011). ANU by 2020. Retrieved from http://about.anu.edu.au/__documents/strategic-plans/anu-2020-strategy.pdf

ANU. (2015a, May 29). Univative Student Business Challenge (ANU, 2015). Retrieved fromhttps://careers.anu.edu.au/node/3791"https://careers.anu.edu.au/node/3791

ANU. (2015b). TechLauncher: Teams. Retrieved from http://cs.anu.edu.au/TechLauncher/teamListByTitle.html

Australian Bureau of Statistics (2001). Education and work, Australia. Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra. Retrieved from http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/6227.0/

Australian Qualifications Framework Council (2013). Australian qualifications framework (2nd ed). Australian Qualifications Framework Council, [Adelaide, S. Aust.] from http://www.aqf.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/AQF-2nd-Edition-January-2013.pdf

Avada, (2015). Innovation ACT. Retrieved from http://www.innovationact.org/

CBRIN. (2015). CBR Innovation Network Strategic Plan 2015 - 2017. Retrieved from http://cbrin.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/2015-2017-CBRIN-Strategic-Plan_Jan-2015.pdf

Cofluence. (2015). CBR xPS. Retrieved from: http://cbrxps.cofluence.co/

Corrin, L., & Smith, M. (2007). Development of a cross-faculty model for the enhancement of academic standards in assessment of work-integrated learning programs. Retrieved from http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=10081&context=infopapers

Department of Education and Training. (2007). National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students: Explanatory guide for Standard 9. Retrieved from https://internationaleducation.gov.au/Regulatory-Information/Education-Services-for-Overseas-Students-ESOS-Legislative-Framework/National-Code/nationalcodepartd/Pages/ExplanatoryguideD9.aspx

Dooley, K. E., & Murphrey, T. P. (2000). How the perspectives of administrators, faculty, and support units impact the rate of distance education adoption. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, 3(4).

Jacob, W. J., Xiong, W., & Ye, H. (2015). Professional development programmes at world-class universities. Palgrave Communications, 1. Retrieved from http://www.palgrave-journals.com/articles/palcomms20152"http://www.palgrave-journals.com/articles/palcomms20152

Johns-Boast, L. (2014). Developing Personal and Professional Skills in Software Engineering Students. Overcoming Challenges in Software Engineering Education: Delivering Non-Technical Knowledge and Skills, 198-228. doi:10.4018/978-1-4666-5800-4.ch011

Murphy, G. D., Thomson, S. A., & Savage, S. M. (2014). "Back to the future"-a retrospective analysis of university business models. Retrieved from http://eprints.qut.edu.au/80112/1/Murphy%20-%20Back%20to%20the%20future%20-%20business%20model%20perspectives%20-%20ANZAM.pdfhttp://eprints.qut.edu.au/80112/1/Murphy%20-%20Back%20to%20the%20future%20-%20business%20model%20perspectives%20-%20ANZAM.pdf

Segal Quince & Partners (1985). The Cambridge phenomenon : the growth of high technology industry in a university town. Segal Quince & Partners, Cambridge

Simes, R. & O'Mahony, J. (2015). Australia's Digital Pulse, Deloitte Access Economics. Retrieved from http://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/au/Documents/Economics/deloitte-au-economics-australias-digital-pulse-160614.pdf

Simpson, O. (2010). 22%-can we do better?. The CWP Retention Literature Review. Final Report. Retrieved from http://www.ormondsimpson.com/USERIMAGES/Retention%20literature%20review.pdf

TEQSA. (2013). Application Guide: Application for Accreditation of a Higher education course of study (AQF Qualification). Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Authority. Retrieved from http://www.teqsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/GuideCourseAccredAQF_v2.3.pdf

Unis to leap on edX.(Features). (2013-03-27). In The Australian (National, Australia). 26. Retrieved from http://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/unis-to-leap-on-edx/story-e6frgcjx-1226607065444

Universities Australia. (2015, 8 Jul). UA partners with Canada in global research internship programme. Retrieved from https://www.universitiesaustralia.edu.au/news/media-releases/UA-partners-with-Canada-in-global-research-internship-programme

Vale, D., Tynan, B., & Smyth, R. (2009). GCTE: a national certificate in tertiary education. Retrieved from http://oro.open.ac.uk/37955/7/PP7-339%20UNE%20Tynan%20GCTE%20Final%20Report%202009.pdf

Vyakarnam, S. To inspire, inform and help implement-The role of entrepreneurship education Second AGSE International-Entrepreneurship Teaching Exchange 14-16 February 2005, Melbourne. Retrieved from http://www.cfel.jbs.cam.ac.uk/research/publications/downloads/vyakarnam_inspire_2005.pdf

Worthington, T. (2016, May 6). Designing an Innovation Course: Part 6: Outline [Weblog post]. Retrieved from http://blog.highereducationwhisperer.com/2016/05/designing-innovation-course-part-6.html

Business Plan

Executive Summary

ILU will design educational materials and deliver on-line courses s on innovation and entrepreneurship. Initially this will be for Canberra's universities and government. The company will minimize up-front costs by using the serviced offices of the Canberra Innovation Network (CBRIN), work contributed by the founders and a cloud based computing platform.

The company is expected to be profitable in two years.

Business Name: Innovation Learning Unit (ILU)

Business Environment

The ILU can fill a gap in the market, providing on-line courses in entrepreneurship and innovation, initially to Canberra university students and government employees. The ILU can make use of CBRIN to establish itself at the center of the innovation business in Canberra, with links to universities and business. Delivering courses to Canberra university students will provide the initial revenue. The product can then be offered tailored for other regions world wide. However, this business plan is based on the conservative assumption that revenue will come only from fees for delivering the standardized courses, without any revenue from customization.

Business Strategic Direction

Vision

Foster innovation and entrepreneurial skills within Canberra and beyond.

Mission

Provide provide free open access course-ware, customized course-ware and full service tutored courses to help university students learn enterprise, innovation and creativity. Ensure the service is not dependent on grants and is therefore sustainable and can grow, with revenue from courses, using the freemium strategy: standard course-ware free online, fees charged for customization and course delivery. The organization will work with Canberra's governments and leading universities to support existing entrepreneurial initiatives and thereby provide a model for similar start-up schemes around the world.

Note: The vision, mission and values statements draw on that of the Cambridge University Center for Entrepreneurial Learning, as described by Vyakarnam (2005).

Business Description

Legal Status and Form of Business

Australian limited liability (Proprietary Limited) for-profit company, registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC, 2015).

Business Location/Geographical Location

CBRIN, Level 5, 1 Moore St, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia

Business Products and Services

Products to be developed: Distance education innovation course materials provided free for use in Canberra's university degree programs and post-government employment transition. Custom versions of the course-ware will be offered to other regions around the world, for a fee.

Services that will be provided to customers: Consulting service to tailor the course materials to other locations will be offered. A full turn-key service will be available as an option, where ILU tutors deliver the courses on behalf of universities, innovation centers and government agencies.

Governance Process

Reporting Structure: Conventional company structure with a board of directors and chair for policy and a CEO reporting to the Chair for implementation. The Australian Corporations Act (2001) provides a set of default rules for the governance of companies (called "replaceable rules").

Decision Making Process: Board of directors meets for major decisions. Chair and CEO decide minor matters. The Director of Studies will oversea the day-to day design and delivery of courses.

Regulations and Guidelines that impact the business: Under Australian federal legislation, the company must be registered with and report annually to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC, 2015). The company must be registered with and report annually to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). Also the company must register for Goods and Services Tax (GST) with the ATO, submit a Business Activity Statement (BAS) quarterly and remit GST collected. When the company has employees it must also remit and report Pay As You Go (PAYG) Withholding Tax and Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) installments. Under Australian Capital Territory law, the company must take out Workers Compensation Insurance for all employees. Public Liability and Professional Indemnity Insurance is not required by law, but Australian universities and government agencies require

Management Team

Qualifications and Experience: The CEO will have qualifications in education (minimum Australian Certificate IV in Training and Assessment) and management (minimum Australian Certificate IV in Leadership and Management), plus experience heading an education business unit. The board members will have either qualifications in education or management (minimum Australian Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and/or Leadership and Management), plus experience in education or management. The Director of the Board of studies will have Australian Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.

Roles of the Management to Team: CEO runs the company under the direction of the Chair. The Director of Studies runs the day-to day design and delivery of courses.

Organizational Structure. Board > Chair > CEO.

Relationship to Other Organizations

Internal Relationships: Company will be too small to need a complex structure.

External Relationships: Board members will hold positions at Canberra's universities or other Canberra based companies, to provide connections to these organizations. University student interns will be integrated into the unit.

Marketing and Sales

Marketing Strategies/Plan.

Marketing will use word of mouth within the university community, academic social media forums, emphasizing the leading universities involved. A detailed marketing strategy is appended.

Detailed Sales Projection

Year

Sales

2015

Zero

2016

100

2017

1,000

2018

10,000

Sales Projection for Courses Per year

Business Requirements.

Workflow Plan

List of major tasks/products and services to be created/supported.

Moodle cloud based LMS,

Innovation Course-ware:

  1. Innovation and Entrepreneurship pilot course for 100 Innovation ACT students, July 2016.

  2. Revised Innovation and Entrepreneurship course ready for 1,000 University of Canberra and ANU students, February 2017

Online support system for students: cloud based web service using free open source software.

Innovation course delivery.

Type of personnel needed to complete work.

Initial start-up from July 2015: Two days work by one person with introductory knowledge of DE course design and DE business planning (ie Tom Worthington, a MEd student).

Submission to the Innovation ACT Program by August 2015: Six days of work by ANU TechLauncher team members (one fourth year, four third year students, plus Tom Worthington as "client").

Enter Griffith Accelerator competition at CBRIN by 31 October 2015: Twelve days work by ANU TechLauncher team members (one fourth year team leader, four third year students (user interface, multimedia, database and coders), plus Tom Worthington as "client").

Obtain initial funding from universities and angels associated with CBRIN: Two days work by team leader and client.

Initial Course design: four weeks work by one instructional designer. Five days work for subject matter expert and multimedia developer.

Human Resource Requirements/Plan

Personnel requirements based on findings from workflow plan.

Year 1: No staff: work will be undertaken by the company directors/founders.

Year 2: One part time administrator two hours per week. First course designed by founders. First courses delivered to 100 students by tutors: 80 day work (each student requires about 0.8 of a day tuition). This would require two full time tutors, or more realistically six one quarter time tutors.

Year 3: One part time administrator 20 hours per week. Second course design: 105 hours work. Courses delivered to 1000 students: 800 days tuition. This would require thirty half time tutors.

Year 3: One full time administrator 5 days per week. Second course design: 105 hours work. Courses delivered to 1,000 students: 8000 days tuition. This would require three hundred half time tutors.

All personnel part -time on contract.

Work Processes and Procedures

Standardized processes and procedures to guide work: Processes and procedures will be an amalgam of those typical for a university and software development company.

List of existing guidelines/manuals: None.

List of guidelines/manuals that must be created: Finance, HR manuals and forms (Performance Development Review, Statement of Expectations, Contracts and Timesheets). Course development guidelines. Course implementation guidelines (can leverage the work of the Intelledox Digital Transformation Centre at ANU).

Resource Requirements

Infrastructure/Office Requirements

The ILU will operate for the first three years from the services offices of CBNRIN and with IT services provided "in the cloud", requiring a minimum of capital costs for equipment. The major intangible asset for the organization will be the course-ware. As this is provided free open access (as the primary marketing method), the real asset will be the good will this engenders in potential customers.

  1. Office Furniture & Equipment: Initially one desk and chair, provided in serviced office rental (more rented as business grows).

  2. Office Computer Hardware and Software: One laptop computer (all other software and systems to be provided "in the cloud").

  3. Office Space based on personnel requirements: One "seat" in the shared co-working space at CBRIN ($396 per year). This also provides access to printers, office equipment, meeting rooms for board meetings.

Information and Communications Technology Requirements

Types of ICT software and tools required: Web site domain at $12 per year, plus 10 user Google Apps web site at AU$60 per user, per year.

LMS/LCMS requirements: Hosted Moodle service for 100 students, AU$1700 per year, then expanding to Moodle service to 1,000 students, AU$8500 per year. This is based on eCreators Pty Ltd published rate, for a Moodle service hosted in Australia (in-country hosting makes it simpler to meet student confidentiality requirements).

Social Networking tools: Google Blogger blog for external social media and Yammer for internal communications (free).

Technology Support for learners and faculty

LMS support will be provided by vendor.

Financial Plan

Start-Up Projections/Budget

Start-Up/Implementation Activities for Year 1

Expenditure

Legal/Incorporation Fees

$2,078.00

Insurance

$4,000.00

Co-working space for four staff

$1,584

Computer Hardware (laptop)

$500.00

Website and cloud service

$612.00

LMS/LCMS Setup

$1,700.00

Total Start-Up/Implementation Expenses

$10,474.00

Cost to set up a business is AU$78 for three years, plus a web site at $12 per year (AU$12 per year for a domain name, plus 10 user Google Apps web site at AU$60 per user, assuming 10 users). Establishment of company, accounting and legal ($2,000.).

Course design: AU$3,078.00. Based on twenty days work by one instructional designer, ten days work for a subject matter expert and ten for a multimedia developer, two days work by course convener and twelve days work by tutor. An hourly rate of AU$57 is assumed, based on that for Australian National University casual lecturers (ANU, 2015a).

Website costs: Hosted Moodle service for 100 students, AU$1700 per year (increasing to AU$8500 per year for 1,000 students). This is based on eCreators Pty Ltd published rate. For a Moodle service hosted in Australia (in country hosting makes it simpler to meet student confidentiality requirements).

Office costs: Office space for the equivalent of one person full time in the co-working space at CBRIN: $396 per year($1,584 for four seats).

Source of Start-Up Funds

The GRIFFIN Accelerator at CBRIN provides up to $25,000 for each startup (in return for a share of equity in the company).

Revenue Projections

Year

Number of students
Assuming fee
per student $750

Revenue
$

2015

0

$0

2016

100

$75,000

2017

1,000

$750,000

2018

10,000

$7,500,000

Revenue Projection per Year

Cash Flow Projections/Multi-Year Budget

Amounts in $1,000's

Year
one

Year
two

Year
three

Year
four

Total

Cash balance at start of year

$0

$9

$33

$306


Operating revenue

Cash receipts from customers

$0

$50

$500

$5,000

$5,550

Total Operating Revenue

$0

$50

$500

$5,000

$5,550

Other Sources of Cash Inflows

Captial

25

50

0

0

$75

Funds borrowed

$0

$0

$0

$0

$0

Tax refund/rebates

$0

$0

$0

$0

$0

Other sources of cash inflow

$0

$0

$0

$0

$0

Total other cash inflows

$25

$50

$0

$0

$75

Total Annual cash in

$25

$100

$500

$5,000

$5,625

Cash out

General & Administrative

Bank charges

$0

$1

$5

$10

$16

Accounting/Legal/Consultant fees

$1

$2

$3

$10

$16

Office Supplies

$0

$1

$2

$4

$7

License fees

$0

$0

$0

$0

$0

Business insurance

$2

$4

$8

$20

$34

Total General & Administrative

$3

$8

$18

$44

$73

Marketing & Promotional

Advertising

$0

$5

$50

$50

$106

Editorial for social media

$2

$20

$20

$40

$82

Total Marketing & Promotional

$3

$25

$70

$90

$188

Operating Expenses

Travel/Accommodation

$4

$8

$20

$30

$62

Equipment hire

$2

$2

$4

$14

$22

Total Operating Expenses

$6

$10

$24

$44

$84

Website Expenses

Domain name registration

$1

$1

$1

$1

$1

Hosting expenses

$1

$2

$4

$20

$27

Total Website Expenses

$1

$2

$4

$20

$27

Employment Expenses

Salaries/Wages

$0

$20

$40

$80

$140

Workcover Insurance

$1

$2

$4

$8

$15

Total Employment Expenses

$1

$22

$44

$88

$155

Occupancy Costs

Telephones

$1

$2

$10

$77

$90

Rent

$1

$5

$50

$100

$156

Total Occupancy Costs

$2

$7

$60

$177

$246

Other Cash Outflows

Purchase of assets

$1

$2

$4

$8

$15

One-off bank fees

$1

$1

$3

$30

$33

Total Other Cash Outflows

$1

$2

$7

$38

$49

Total Annual cash out

$16

$76

$227

$501

$820

Net difference ?

$9

$24

$273

$4,499


Cash balance at end of year

$9

$33

$306

$4,805


Performance Management Plan

Overview of Performance Management Approach

The ILU will be a small organization with a few customers (universities in Canberra) a small number of products (innovation courses). Therefore the acceptance of courses by universities, enrollments by their students and cash-flow from courses are key performance indicators. Less tangibly, the maintenance of relationships with the universities (and the local government) is important, as measured by ILU staff who hold university and government positions.

Complete Balanced Scorecard

Performance Indicators based on strategic goals.

The ILU, while a commercial for-profit company, is also an academic institution. As a result the performance indicators are a mix of commercial and academic.

Finance

  • Course income

People development

  • Interns

  • Staff training

Capability

  • Core staff

  • University connections

  • Equipment

Output

  • Published course materials

  • Social media posts

  • Journal papers


  • Conference presentations


Balanced Scorecard. Adapted from figure 3, (Philbin, p.7, 2011).

However, Neely (2008) carried out an empirical analysis which found no evidence that balanced scorecard improves business outcomes.

Method of measurement, frequency of measure

Twice Yearly

  • Number of staff with government positions (voluntary committees, panels and boards)

  • Number of staff with university affiliations (adjunct or full time staff).

Quarterly:

  • Number of courses and universities they are approved at.

  • Student enrollments in courses

Monthly

  • Cash-flow from courses.

Timeline for Implementation

Priorities of work.

  1. Initial start-up by Tom Worthington.

  2. Submission to the Innovation ACT Program by ANU TechLauncher team.

  3. Obtain initial funding by ANU TechLauncher team.

  4. Initial Course design by instructional designer.

  5. Initial Course delivery by tutor.

Major Implementation Milestones

Year 1: Establish company.

Year 2: First course designed by founders. First courses delivered to 100 students.

Year 3: Second course design. Courses delivered to 1000 students.

Year 3: Courses delivered to 10,000 students.

Conclusion

There the potential to create a company to provide on-line courses in entrepreneurship and innovation, initially to Canberra university students and government employees. This can make use of innovation center set up by Canberra's government and universities, then being able to help government and the universities to to foster entrepreneurial spirit in students and the public sector. This will provide a firm base from which to offer courses would wide.

References

ASIC. (2015). Starting a company,. Retrieved from http://asic.gov.au/for-business/starting-a-company/how-to-start-a-company/

ANU. (2015a). Academic casual sessional rates. Retrieved from http://hr.anu.edu.au/employment-at-anu/salaries-and-conditions/academic-casual-sessional-rates

ANU. (2015b). TechLauncher: Teams. Retrieved from http://cs.anu.edu.au/TechLauncher/teamListByTitle.html

Kirk, Kate & Cotton, Charles & Gates, Bill. (2012). The Cambridge Phenomenon : 50 years of innovation and enterprise. Third Millenium, London

Mathews, R., & Wacker, W. (2008). What's your story?: storytelling to move markets, audiences, people, and brands. FT Press.

Neely, A. (2008). Does the balance scorecard work: an empirical investigation. Retrieved from https://dspace.lib.cranfield.ac.uk/bitstream/1826/3932/1/Does_the_balanced_scorecard_work-RP1-08.pdf

Oyston, D. (2014). Big Book Of Practical Marketing Advice. Content Grasshopper. Retrieved from http://contentgrasshopper.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Big-Book-Of-Practical-Marketing-Advice.pdf

Philbin, S. P. (2011). Design and implementation of the Balanced Scorecard at a university institute. Measuring Business Excellence, 15(3), 34-45.

Marketing Plans

Marketing Plan Summary

The Market

Target market:

Universities in cities looking to foster start-up industries.Proven e-leaning courses already in use at world ranking would be offered to universities in those cities.

Marketing strategy:

Initially ILU will sell to the Canberra universities involved in the Canberra Innovation Network

Marketing will be low key, using the part time staff with links to universities and government to make the product known through academic and industry social media forums.

Establishment of the company will be turned into an origin story (Mathews & Wacker, 2008), about how a small group of people started up an innovation education business. This will draw on the Silicon Fen origin story of how a few ex-academics met in the Eagle pub in Cambridge and founded a multi-billion dollar industry around Cambridge University (Kirk, Cotton & Gates, 2012, p. 45). To help strengthen this the ILU course-ware will be offered free to Cambridge University to teach their students.

Products/services

Product/Service

Description

Price

Innovation Course-ware

Course materials for a 12 week, 10 hours per week course module.

Free open source.

Innovation Course

The course-ware delivered online, with tuition and assessment.

$750 per student.

Market position:

This are intended to be high end products for universities offering students tuition by a qualified academic in small groups. That this is not a MOOC, but a real university course, with a human tutor assessing student work, will be emphasized. will be emphasized. MOOCs are being offered for less than $100 per student, but the completion rate is low and the quality questionable.

Unique selling position:

Course materials already in use and proven at leading universities. Real human tutors who are experts in the field: real assessment, not just multiple choice quizzes.

Anticipated demand:

Elective for all students, expected to be taken by 25% of business, IT and engineering students in Canberra.

Pricing strategy:

Priced at around 50% ore than a contractor currently gets paid to delver a course for a university in Australia. Universities will be told they are getting a quality product, but one which will save them overheads.

Value to customer:

Universities like to buy courses already proven at other institutions. Offers a low risk way to quickly address the demand for more real-world student skills. Universities are under pressure to provide entrepreneurial skills to STEM students.

Growth potential:

Growth planned at power of ten per year for first two years.

Word of mouth in academic community and by former students will drive demand.

Sales/marketing personnel

No marketing or sales personnel. Initial advice to be provided free as part of the CBRIN program. The CEO will be expected to do the marketing and sales.

The Market

Unique selling position

Serious course content already used in accredited degrees by leading Australian universities, free for reuse and available with optional tutoring available for a fee worldwide.

Your customers/clients

Initial: ANU, University of Canberra.

Customer demographics

Universities lacking in-house e-learning capability located in second tier cities.

Key customers
  1. Australian National University.

  2. University of Canberra

  3. Canberra Innovation Network

  4. Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning at University of Cambridge

Customer management

University staff will be contracted to produce and teach ILU courses. Courses will be designed to meet the university and national quality standards for education. Staff will be part of internal university quality control processes, as well as being qualified in e-learning and their subject area.

Your competitors

The major competition of a DE innovation course comes not from courses offered at Canberra's universities but from Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS). University staff, and the students, will ask why they should purchase a DE course, when they can get a MOOC for free. As detailed below, these MOOCS do not offer accredited, recognized qualification and are mostly not "free" and so are not real competition for IUL. However, this perception of "free" courses will be difficult to combat and it is therefore necessary to look at what MOOCS offer and how to compete with them. Here are some innovation related MOOCS:

  1. Innovation and Enterprise, from Loughborough University through FutureLearn: "Managing the innovation process is neither a scientific process nor a black art. We will explore a model for innovation."

  2. 3.086x: Innovation and Commercialization, from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, through edX: "Covers from human process of innovating to innovation ecosystems."

  3. Entrepreneurship: Launching an Innovative Business, from University of Maryland through Coursera: "How to develop the business model with attention to value propositions, customer segments, channels, customer relationships, revenue models, partners, and resources, activities, and costs."

Products and services: The edX consortium (set up by MIT) offers "Verified Certificate of Achievement" for individual courses and "XSeries Certificates" for specific sequences of courses. The Verified Certificate of Achievement typically cost US$25 to US$100. There is no Innovation related XSeries Certificate currently offered by edX, but that for "Educational Technology", costs US$275 (four courses at US$50 each plus US$75 program fee).

The FutureLearn consortium (set up by Open University UK) will be offering a "Statement of Attainment" by examination, through an agreement with Pearson for £119 (approximately US$189) for some courses (Parr, 2015). However, it is still not clear if this statement will be accepted by accredited unviersities.

Coursera, unlike edX or FutureLearn, has a "Specialization" in innovation. This consists of three courses and a "capstone" (in place of an examination). The capstone has assignments very mistrial to that of a conventional course on the topics: business model, Customer analysis, Marketing and sales strategy, Business plan and pitch. The specialization costs US$204 and takes a minimum of 60 hours study (3 courses x 4 weeks x 3 hours a week + 1 capstone x 6 weeks x 4 hours per week).

Market research

The ANU and University of Canberra between them have approximately 34,000 students. Two main fields of study which an innovation course is likely to appeal to are "management and commerce" and "information technology", which made up 24% and 3.3% of Australia's post-school enrollments in 2014 (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2014), giving a potential market of more than 9,000 students in Canberra. The ANU's TechLauncher program, which commenced in 2015 has 118 participants in 24 teams, undertaking projects in conjunction with CBRIN and so provide a useful group to pilot the course with (no equivalent statistics were available for University of Canberra).

Market targets

Year

Number of Students

2015

Zero

2016

100

2017

1,000

2018

10,000

Target number of students per year

Environmental/industry analysis

The ANU's TechLauncher program, which commenced in 2015 has 118 participants in 24 teams, undertaking projects in conjunction with CBRIN and so provide a useful group to pilot the course with (no equivalent statistics were available for University of Canberra). Three of the TechLauncher projects being undertaken by the students are to build on-line tools to support the program itself: "Online Platform for InnovationACT", "TechLauncher Management System" and "Better Webinar Tool For Teaching" (ANU, 2015b). The third of these is planned to be a student startup company, indicating the willingness of the ANU staff to foster and work with the private sector. For ANU in 2013 (the latest year statics are available for), 74% of the students are domestic and 26% International (ANU, 2014). The high proportion of international students may provide an opportunity for DE courses. There are sightly more female (52%) than male students (ANU, 2014). The students are predominately full time (68%) also providing scope for more part time DE students.

Marketing strategy

The "Marketing through teaching" approach will be used (Oyston, 2014). The ILU will give away content on-line. Part time staff will be employed in universities, so that the company and the universities will work together.

Marketing activity/milestone

Person responsible

Date of expected completion

Cost ($)

Success indicator

Academic social media, such as specific Twitter hash tags (such as #highered), LinkedIn and Google lists.

CEO

Ongoing

Nil

Number of reposts.

Launch of company in CBRIN's events space, with ACT Chief Minister \to be the guest of honor..

CEO

Mid year 1

$1,000

Coverage in Canberra Times (the local newspaper), local TV.

Next: Educational Technology Applications.


About the book: Digital Teaching In Higher Education

Higher Education is a global industry, driving a new technological, industrial revolution. However, it is important to remember education is about teachers helping students learn. This work is a collection of short essays exploring how to use digital technology to provide a form of teaching which will meet social and economic goals, and make use of technology, while still having a place for the academic as a teacher. Drawing on work undertaken for a Masters of Education in Distance Education, this book charts one future for Higher Education, including instructional design, planning and management, catering for international students, using Open Education Resources and Mobile Learning. E-learning designer and computer professional, Tom Worthington MEd FACS CP, uses as a case study his award-winning course in ICT Sustainability and the design of a new innovation and entrepreneurship course.

Edition Notice

Copyright © Tom Worthington 2017

Cover pictographs ebook, talk, issues and approved, by Carlos Sarmento from the Noun Project (CC BY 3.0 US).

First Printing: 2017

TomW Communications Pty Ltd., PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617, Australia

National Library of Australia Cataloguing-in-Publication entry

Worthington, Tom, 1957- author.
Digital teaching in higher education : designing e-learning for
international students of technology, innovation
and the environment / Tom Worthington.

ISBN: 9781326947859 (Hardback)
ISBN: 9781326939922 (Paperback)
ISBN: 9781326938826 (ePub eBook)
ISBN: 9781326967963 (PDF eBook)
Amazon Kindle eBook (No ISBN).

Education, Higher--Effect of technological innovations on.
Education, Higher--Computer-assisted instruction.
Educational technology--Social aspects.
Education, Higher--Electronic information resources.
Instructional systems--Design.

A web version of this book is available free on-line, under at Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0) license at http://www.tomw.net.au/digital_teaching/