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Abstract

With the inflow of an estimated $6 billion of venture capital over the past five years, E-learning is driven not only by many startup dot-com entrepreneurs but also big corporations, for-profit spin-off ventures, and big and small universities. All vie for a piece of a promising marketplace. Many universities entered the E-learning marketplace using non-profit models, leveraging their knowledge in the traditional classroom to the E-learning environment. Countless entrants and overwhelming numbers of services and products, coupled with market chaos, created confusion that makes it difficult to assess the E-learning industry. This paper identifies and presents four emerging models of E-learning in terms of enterprises, target market, relative advantages and challenges. We introduce a spatial visualization to differentiate among various E-learning models based on their educational orientations and resources. A comparison of the costs associated with E-learning from the perspectives of producers, consumers, and faculty is then presented. We conclude by discussing the lessons that can be learned from this industry's evolution. .

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