Rob Abel poses the question, "Why are institutions willing to spend $300K to $500K or more on student information systems when it is like pulling teeth to invest $25K-$50K in a course management system?" He considers three three factors: "a connection to development resources put in versus product innovation out", "tenured faculty who, like many bastions of staid authority, are resistant to change", and "a tradition of passing on all instructional costs to the student in some way shape or form." None of these strikes the right chord with me. Perhaps the right way to ask the question is to ask why these institutions don't see an upside to outsourcing what they believe to be their core mission.
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