Enrollment Management Strategies for Online Learning Environments

Enrollment Management Strategies for Online Learning Environments

Terence C. Ahern (West Virginia University, USA) and Jeffrey Burgazzoli Jr. (West Virginia University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2548-6.ch002


Enrollment management is a critical component of any institution or organization, whether that be a large-public university or small non-profit organization. Two systems, registration and enrollment, are driving forces behind any online learning environment. This chapter examines the enrollment management strategies of a small non-profit organization that utilized open-source methodology in its implementation of an online learning environment. The goal of this chapter is to demonstrate to administrators, course managers and educators the structure of an enrollment management system and to create a custom strategy in order to maintain to effective student records and to provide students with the appropriate access to instruction. Finally, the outcome of this chapter will be the development of policy guidelines, and a recount of strategies used to implement registration and enrollment systems.
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Enrollment management is an institutional response to understanding who is using the broader system. This critical process is typically divided into two systems: registration and enrollment. The registration system manages two pieces of functionality that include user creation and authorization. In order to effectively access online systems (and for that matter a brick and mortar school) students must register. Students need to have credentials to gain access to the system and ultimately are subjected to an account creation process. Each student will need to acquire discrete user identification in the form of a username and password in order to access the online environment. Moreover, the student can manage their profile where they can authorize the use of system and/or any custom preferences that are needed. The enrollment system is where the students are placed into individual courses. This is normally done in one of four (4) ways: manually, through a batch process, self-enrollment or as a guest. Essentially the enrollment system is subservient to the overall registration system. Each student must have an account to actively participate within the course and its activities. In the rare instance guest accounts allow the student to view a course without actively participating in the course. Regardless, the two systems are necessary in order for students to access and explicitly make use of an online learning environment.

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