Universities Are Shifting Away from OPMs

Jun 6, 2024

As a leader in the education industry for nearly 30 years, Six Red Marbles (SRM) has always stood apart from the traditional online program management (OPM) model by offering institutions a unique approach to online learning. Unlike typical OPM partnerships, SRM fully supports flexibility, content ownership, and academic freedom, empowering institutions to shape their online programs according to their vision and needs. In many cases—particularly among institutions that do not have the luxury of both investing significantly greater resources in marketing and building an infrastructure to do it—the key to success is to continue to seek external expertise but without all the “strings” that an OPM relationship typically requires. Here’s why so many universities have partnered with SRM while seeking to enhance their online education offerings: 

Developing Courses at Scale and Quality: SRM is dedicated to collaborative course, program, and content development, empowering institutions to create high-quality educational materials at scale. By partnering closely with institutions, SRM ensures that academic content remains under the full control of the institution, allowing for customization that meets its unique needs. This approach guarantees that courses are not only relevant but also adaptable over time, maintaining both excellence and scalability in educational offerings. 

No Revenue Sharing: Unlike traditional OPMs, SRM operates on a fee-for-service model, eliminating the need for revenue sharing. This means that institutions can invest in their online programs without sacrificing a portion of their revenue to a third-party provider, providing financial freedom and flexibility. 

Safe from Regulations: With OPMs facing increased regulatory scrutiny, institutions partnering with SRM can rest assured knowing that our company operates free from the direct impacts of changing legislation. SRM provides a secure and compliant solution, mitigating the regulatory risks often associated with OPMs. We’ve been following this closely and refer to this article for an in-depth understanding on the subject.  

Customization and Flexibility: SRM’s dedicated team of professionals collaborates closely with faculty to design customized online learning experiences that are engaging, effective, and memorable. We support faculty at every step, from designing entire programs to refreshing existing courses, offering unparalleled customization and flexibility. This partnership ensures that each online course stands out in today’s competitive higher education landscape. Learn more about how we help faculty succeed in online teaching here. 

The shift away from OPM providers toward unbundled services reflects a growing desire among institutions to regain control over their online programs. By partnering with SRM, universities can leverage our expertise, flexibility, and commitment to academic excellence to lead this transformative change. Together, we can navigate the transition toward a more tailored, cost-effective, and agile approach to online program management, ensuring that institutions stay ahead of the curve in today’s ever-evolving higher education landscape. 

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