Florida Online High School selects Jones’ e-education as its exclusive course platform.
Internet Strategies for Education Markets: The Heller Report December 1, 2000 After an extensive review of numerous e-learning platforms, the Florida Online High School (FHS, Orlando, FL, www.fhs.edu) has selected JonesKnowledge .com’s (Englewood, CO, www.jonesknowledge.com) e-education online learning solution as its exclusive online course delivery platform. Phyllis Lentz, business development officer for FHS, says the school was surprised by the capabilities of this lesser-known offering and especially pleased with the company’s responsiveness to the needs of FHS.
Lentz adds that having delivered online courses for four years, FHS knew what they wanted. Given two similar products, flexibility and people made the difference. Their special requests during the proposal process included populating the testing area with an uploaded file, downloading zipped files from the testing area, modifying the gradebook for various grading methodologies, modifying the interface from an adult look to a K-12 feel and adding an “In/Out” box to the work submission area.
The online school has been operating with disparate components of their online classes; they will begin offering courses on the e-education platform next month.
Heather O’Mara, president of JonesKnowledge.com, tells ISEM that the company’s responsiveness is made possible by having in-house technology for the platform, assessment tools, registration tools and other features. e-education’s chat is the only exception to their rule of proprietary technology. Not relying on a third-party vendor, she says, allows Jones to rapidly adjust the offering. see here jones international university
e-global Library Is Designed for Online Learners Originally developed by Jones International University (JIU, www.jonestinternational.edu, see below) to support its students and fulfill the criteria for accreditation, e-global library is a new online library for online learners that is officially being introduced December 4th. The service capitalizes on a long relationship between the company and the Library of Congress to include numerous public resources. It also has tutorials and various Internet resources reviewed and organized by a staff of 20 librarians. Numerous database resources include ABI Inform, ERIC, H.W Wilson Select Plus and World CAT.
FHS will be the first institutional user of e-global library services other than JIU. Lentz is pleased with what the company is doing to adjust what has essentially been designed as a higher education resource for her high school audience. She is also pleased to give her students access to the librarian staff (a staff which does not yet see a demand for the 24×7 hours of the technical support crew, but does have extensive availability).
License fees for e-global library are defined on an individual basis, but are based on an institutional fee and a per student fee. There are options to add the academic database services, but institutions already subscribing to these databases do not pay twice. The on-call librarian feature is also optional with an additional fee e-education is a hosted, ASP solution. It requires a $500 set-up fee, a $35 fee per student/per course and a per course/per term license fee. That fee is $250 if the institution administers users, such as handling “adds” and “drops” and $500 for Jones to provide full-service user administration. O’Mara says users new to online courses typically begin with the full-service model to ease and quickly migrate to their own user administration.
e-education’s Market Position The platform is currently used in 170 institutions of higher education, typically at the department level or at the institutional level on a non-exclusive basis. JonesKnowledge.com also has one K-12 client in addition to FHS, the Colorado Online School Consortium. O’Mara says the software product has been in place since the first beta in the spring of 1997, but the company has been focused on building an infrastructure to support customers rather than on marketing. They have also been building a sales and marketing staff over the past year, and the group will be extending the reach of e-education into higher education, K-12 and corporate learning.
JIU Adds Courses The JonesKnowledge.com umbrella of activities also includes Jones International University, tagged as “the first fully online, accredited university.” JIU offers college courses, certificate programs, a Bachelor of Arts completion degree in business communication and Master of Arts degree in business communication, and a Master of Business Administration degree with seven areas of specialization. Those seven distinct MBAs focus on e-business. O’Mara says plans call for rolling out three new degree programs each year. web site jones international university
JIU was established in 1993, became operational in 1995, achieved candidacy for accreditation in 1996, had its first graduate in 1997 and had two degree programs accredited in 1999. It has had 3,000 enrollments since inception, a third of which have come during this year. Students are primarily working adults, and they come from 57 countries. Tuition ranges from $625 to $725 for a three credit course.
Much like the Open University model, a team at JonesKnowledge. com creates the course and an expert in the field is hired to facilitate the course.
GATE Is Building a Brand for International Quality Jones International, Ltd., the parent company of JonesKnowledge.com, runs another division to manage the Global Alliance for Transnational Education (GATE, www.edugate.com). The organization focuses on developing quality standards for online education and certifying qualifying institutions. As the company extends recognition of GATE, that certification is intended to attract students and to assure an employer of the quality of a foreign employee’s degree.
Three institutions have been certified through GATE: Tomsk in Russia, Monash in Australia and JIU. JIU did not renew their certification because of a perceived conflict of interest. The other institutions are brick and mortar institutions, not online schools. Sixteen other applicants are in the pipeline.
Jones International, Ltd. also runs the Jones Entertainment Group, which creates and distributes motion pictures and documentaries; Jones International Networks, which delivers radio, TV and streaming media with the majority of revenue from the sale of commercial radio and cable network airtime to advertisers; Jones Cyber Solutions, which offers customer care and billing software for the telecom market; and technology services for Jones companies under the name Jones Interactive. Jones Intercable sold its cable holdings in 1999 for $200 million.
Florida Online High School Is bringing Its Products to Market With their new platform in place, FHS is now beginning to market beyond the state of Florida and is seeking distribution partners to assist in this effort. The organization was set up as a state agency in July, which essentially means they are their own business entity governed by a board of Trustees. As such, they must become financially independent, and the state legislature recently approved licensing their classes beyond the borders of Florida. FHS has developed 56 courses since they started in the fall of 1997. Lentz says they plan to add five courses over the next year, but that they are currently focused more on refining teaching than on development.
Lentz says that FHS would like to license courses on a per student/per course fee, but prices have not been established. They will license the online portion of the course, but they anticipate local teachers fulfilling the online teaching role. Therefore, training teachers and ongoing mentoring will also be a key component of the process. That training will initially require travel to a training site. Online training, however, is likely to grow, and FHS will consider working with private companies to facilitate that. Lentz says she is willing to consider a wide range of public and private partnerships as the organization expands. “We didn’t get where we are by pretending we know all the answers,” says Lentz.
The first licensing will be for three courses to be used by the Illinois Virtual High School — AP American government, Latin 1 and practical computer and business skills. FHS will adapt their courses to Illinois standards. It won this initial client by responding to an RFP.