The purpose of the Sloan Consortium (Sloan-C) is to help learning organizations continually improve quality, scale, and breadth according to their own distinctive missions, so that education will become a part of everyday life, accessible and affordable for anyone, anywhere, at any time, in a wide variety of disciplines. Created with funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Sloan-C encourages the collaborative sharing of knowledge and effective practices to improve online education in learning effectiveness, access, affordability for learners and providers, and student and faculty satisfaction.
In its first years, the ALN administrative center was at Vanderbilt University under the direction of John R. Bourne; in 2000 the center moved with him to the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering and Babson College in Needham, Massachusetts. Now called the Sloan Center for OnLine Education (SCOLE), the center is the administrative home for Sloan-C activities. Not yet formally incorporated, Sloan-C activities are funded by the Sloan Foundation, guided by its board members, and enabled by its administrative staff and membership.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Quality Framework: A work in progress that assesses educational success in terms of continuous quality improvement.
Cost Effectiveness: The quality principle that assures the institutional mission is conveyed online, affordably for the institution and for learners.
Faculty Satisfaction: The quality principle that recognizes faculty as central to quality learning.
Effective Practices: Online practices that are replicable and produce positive outcomes in each of the pillar areas. The Sloan-C site is http://www.sloan-c.org/effective.
Student Satisfaction: The quality principle that measures student perceptions and achievement as the most important predictors of lifelong learning.
Learning Effectiveness: The quality principle that assures that learning outcomes online are at least equivalent to learning outcomes in other delivery modes.
Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI): A process that measures progress towards goals, using metrics and feedback from stakeholders for continuous improvement.
Asynchronous Learning Networks (ALN): Technology-enabled networks for communications and learning communities.
Access: The quality principle that is the fundamental motivation for online learning, access means that people who are qualified and motivated can obtain affordable, quality education in the discipline of choice.
Five Pillars: The Sloan-C quality elements of learning effectiveness, cost effectiveness, access, faculty satisfaction, and student satisfaction.