Course Enabler

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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What is the overall purpose of the exchange?

1. To find seats for under-enrolled sections at your school.

2. To offer complete courses that you have capacity for in terms of teacher availability.

3. To market your summer school offerings widely through our relationships in the US, China and in India: we have a new partnership with the leading education portal in India (Education World) with the profile and reach of the US News and World Report here in the US .

4. To increase your Elective offerings by accessing courses at a wider network.

What is the purpose of this application? To allow schools to start indicating their need as their student demand profile and their staffing needs evolve between February and the summer. The sooner you get a picture of your needs the quicker we can try and find you the right match. There is no commitment by using this application. It is an expression of interest only.

Is this only for schools or can students and unaffiliated teachers use it to express interest? No it is only for schools and teachers registering must be expressing interest on behalf of their schools.

Are these all online offerings? Mostly except the summer school options that are both online and on campus. We have built significant relationships abroad so that you can use this exchange to tap overseas demand too for summer programs.

Do we need to pay now? No you pay nothing until we match your demand and the supply from our schools.

How long do we have to confirm? There are various levels of interest filters ( Firm, Will Know By April 15th, Will Know by June 15th etc) for you to choose so that you can let us know when you will be sure. At that point we will match you and require the tuition.

Who will provide the Transcript? The School providing the teacher and the curriculum will provide the transcript.  Additionally, each school can opt to record the course on their own transcript in any way they wish, including as an independent study or as a transfer course, as is often down by consortia. As many schools already do with the online courses they do provide, these courses will be online versions of on campus courses and therefore dovetail with schools’ current accreditation.

When will the course take place? Generally after school for the instructional component as with most consortia offerings. For discussion heavy courses there will be standard seminar times like with various online providers like Stanford Online or the Malone School Online Network.  Smaller Group or Individual office hours will be calendared weekly. Use of flipped recorded content will be encouraged.

Will we know the school providing the course and can we talk to them before committing? Yes to both and we know many of these schools so we will not plan to do this with a school who we don’t believe could deliver. OESIS will validate the curriculum as being of a peer standard for independent schools and also what accreditations it might have (AP, UC etc). Because we know our OESIS network schools, we can be assured of certain shared cultural commitments to excellence in instruction.

How much will each seat be? Lower than what you would pay elsewhere externally and less than what it would cost you to run the course at an under enrolled level. For an AP course it needs to be around $1,400 - $1,800 per seat so if you had 3-4 seats you would be paying much less than the cost of adding a  full section at your school. The fees paid will be split between the teacher of record, the institution of record, and OESIS for the costs of running the service/platform.

What does it cost to join this service? There is no membership or subscription cost in the first year. You will be financially responsible only when you agree to a match of seats.

Can a school teach a course without offering any student enrollments? Yes in fact we know a lot of part-time teachers want extra loads as do some full-time faculty. However, we prefer to give the teacher role to a school looking also to provide seats so it can be a revenue source as well as a cost reduction strategy for them. We might also use online schools operating in the independent school world who might take these enrollments at lower price points because they will not be advertising that fact ( they should see this as a wholesale solution).

If we have not taught online before, can we still participate?  Yes, OESIS will provide training and support for teachers.  This is a great way to bring online instruction to your school and to develop OESIS-quality experience.

Where will exams take place? At the school the student is currently enrolled in full-time. This is like the site director role some organizations use with a designated person for this.

Why has this not been done before? We thought of this earlier but we felt we needed a broad enough network and enough course content around the country that was mainstreamed into a digital LMS environment. Schools also generally do not like to advertise that they are doing courses at low price points online because it makes parents question the value of brick and mortar courses and tuition. That is why schools have generally hidden these endeavors behind a third party brand or consortium. This is a wholesale solution where that brand-pricing risk is eliminated.

The Problem: Consider how many class sections your school runs with less than 8 students, and imagine how much money your school would save/earn if those classes were running at your section average of around 15 students? Schools often find themselves with a mismatch in supply and demand when it comes to teachers and students because of scheduling.  These challenges get worse every year as parental expectations increase and costs make it difficult to produce ad hoc solutions. We have been noticing that despite the financial pressures, in the last 10 years class size has been trending downward nationally with the median  now at 13 according to NAIS 2016 Stats at a Glance. Multiply by $1,000 the number of spots you have below your target class size and you will get a sense of the magnitude of potential savings for your school.

The New Solution: OESIS Course Exchange provides a peer to peer school model that allows schools to meet this problem by swapping surplus need and capacity with peer institutions. This is not a new consortium, it is a peer to peer exchange or clearing house. It is a way of saving money and it’s a way of earning income as a provider to peer schools needing your instructional and curricular capacity. We have tested this with our Network Schools and developed a set of FAQs from the feedback. The maturity of online and blended learning at our schools, the increasing affinity with course sharing and the breadth of the OESIS Network of 550+ peer schools makes this solution a potential reality.

We think a few examples best illustrate how we will make this work:

Example 1.  Latin 3.   This is a must have course for any school wanting a 3-year language sequence.  Suppose that School A has 7 enrollments, is OK with synchronous or a combination of synchronous/asynchronous and has a teacher available. School B has 4 enrollments, prefers heavy synchronous and a teacher available. School C has 4 enrollments is flexible as to format and has no teacher.  We try to fill the class to be delivered by School A but tell School B that it will be a combination of asynchronous and synchronous because School A has significant asynchronous content in place and the synchronous will be after school 4.30-5.30 pm every Monday and Wednesday with office hours on Thursday between 3.30-4.30 and Saturday 9.00-10.30 am. School A can schedule those 7 kids into the normal school day and do the 8 kids outside or they can do them together after school.

Scenario 1. School A offers the course.  Fees from the students are paid to School A, making it possible for the course to be offered.  Depending on its policies, School A may provide the teacher additional compensation.  School A is now making money on a class that would have otherwise been marginal loss under the load target. Schools B and C are saving around $6,000 each as they don't have to pay a full overload for a class as the cost for 4 students is $6,000 approximately (4 x $1,500) rather than at least $12,000 for the extra section or an overload.

Scenario 2. If the teacher at School A is unable to offer such a course, School A can let School B do it and if School B cannot get the Teacher to do it, OESIS can look for a school D that has a part-time teacher that can serve all three schools. All 3 schools will be saving money and School D will be making money.

Scenario 3. We cant find a School D with a part-time teacher but one of the online schools offers the class so we ask them. They agree but at a lower cost than their retail because they did not secure the students and there is no public record of the price they agree with us.

Example 2.  School A has for years offered a course on Politics and the Media.   Enrollment has been declining and these days there are only 5 or 6 students who wish to take the course.  However, those students are very passionate about the topic and their parents often site the presence of that course as the reason they sent their kids to the school.  The political costs of not offering the course are high but the economic costs of offering a course that is under enrolled are also high.  The school makes seats available online for the course as a way of increasing the effective enrollment, with the additional fees received helping to offset the cost.  Schools B and C offer this course as an enhancement elective, giving students access to a subject they had not previously offered.