Sloan Supports Study on e-Learning at NYU-Poly, Stanford and Michigan

While e-learning now occupies about a quarter of enrollments in U.S. higher education and in corporations, there is a marked difference in how coursework is delivered to the user. Companies deliver training using self-learning modules with employees learning largely on their own. In higher education—as practiced at NYU-ePoly, the school’s online learning unit—students and faculty interact with each other, mirroring on-campus classrooms.

To gain a better understanding of the dynamics of corporate e-learning, the Sloan Foundation, one of the nation’s most respected private funding sources, has given NYU-Poly a $65,000 grant to study e-learning in the corporate environment. For nearly two decades, the Sloan Foundation encouraged the advance of online education, providing funding of over $80 million to universities across the country. The corporate e-learning study falls directly under NYU-Poly’s online strategy, targeting mid-career company technical and managerial personnel to enroll in the school’s online graduate programs.

Under the Sloan grant, a dozen key corporate e-learning executives at three different universities—NYU-Poly, Stanford University and the University of Michigan—will participate in a three-part series of half-day focus groups that began in January at NYU-Poly. The focus groups will be held at the two other institutions during the spring. 

Luther Tai, senior vice president, Enterprise Shared Services, Con Edison, believes workshops such as this one are integral to professional development. “The format of the workshop was excellent,” says Tai. “It provided a platform to discuss training practices, industry concerns and future trends in regard to e-learning…It was intriguing to hear how e-learning is used in different organizations and do a comparison with the initiatives underway at Con Edison.”

NYU-Poly’s Enterprise Learning unit is the lead institution (www.poly.edu/enterpriselearning), with Vice President Robert Ubell acting as moderator.

NYU-Poly has teamed with NYU’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS) in offering nearly 100 graduate and certificate programs to corporate, nonprofit and government clients in New York, around the country and across the globe. In October, the two NYU schools released their first joint catalog (www.nyu.edu/enterpriselearning).