Friday, February 22, 2008

Products and Services in Education

A team of U of Illinois educators spent part of this week with a business consultant, Andrew Neitlich, who provided guidance about ways to incorporate business strategies into our educational work. He has lots of good ideas, but one idea that I found especially powerful is this idea about linking products and services.

Most of education is an intensive service that requires us to teach the same material over and over again to new students. This is costly. Neitlich reminds us that along the way educators can create various products of these teaching activities-- lecture notes, teaching aids, curricula, textbooks, etc. that could be part of overall teaching enterprise that may be sold/marketed to students who are in the course or even to those who are not in the course, but who are just interested in learning about the topic.

Obviously, we already do this some with lecture notes and textbooks, but this could become a more central strategy to the overall educational enterprise such that it is more commonly and more easily done.

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