Plenary Lecture

Business Models for Developing Online Courses

Professor Mirela Voicu
Department of Business Information Systems
Faculty of Economics and Business Administration
West University of Timisoara, Romania

Abstract: Today, the ways in which we learn are changing. Generally, the interest for e-learning development comes from areas such as university studies, school studies, corporate training or other sectors. In each case, we can give examples of the success or of the failure. In this paper, we are focused on online courses in the context of entrepreneurship. In an online environment, a course is important for a student only if it brings knowledge, in an easy way. This means creating a high quality course. The information provided by the course is very important. However, this is not enough. The manner, in which we display a course, is also very important. In an online course, using e-learning tools, we can and must facilitate the way in which the student learns. In this paper, we describe some important features of existing online courses. We point out some aspects of the necessary tools used for developing online courses: hardware, software and e-learning platforms. We recall some of the most important tools used for online advertising, such as Google AdWords, Faceebok Ads, discount websites, etc. We specify how we can increase the lesson quality using different software tools. We talk about the manner in which tests and quiz can be applied. We determine marketing online tools which can be used for maintaining the relation with the student/client. Such a business includes infrastructure and people (teachers, etc.), and this implies costs. In the terms of a business, success means profit. In the case of an online course, we must minimize costs while maintaining a high quality of the learning service. We present our business models according to these principles.

Brief Biography of the Speaker: Mirela-Catrinel Voicu was born in Romania. In 1995, she graduated from the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Sciences, West University of Timisoara. She received the MSc degree in Applied Mathematics, Informatics in Economy and Computer Sciences from the West University of Timisoara. She followed a training course for PhD thesis at the National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies, Paris, France. She received her PhD in 2001 from the University of Timisoara, Romania (with the "Cum laude" distinction) and from the University of Paris 13, France (with the "Très honorable avec félicitations" distinction). Currently she is a Professor at the Department of Economic Informatics, within the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, West University of Timisoara, Romania, where, since 1995, she has held several academic positions. Her activity includes Programming and Internet Programming, Informatics in Economy, Databases, OOP, Data structures. Through the collaboration program between the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration and the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics of the West University, she has held classes with international participation, in postgraduate education, in the section of "Mathematic modelling in economics and applied sciences" Exchange Rate Evolution Models subject introduced within the program due to the original contributions in her PhD. During the collaboration between the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, West University of Timisoara and CUOA Italy, she has taught a postgraduate class for the section of "Management of Business and Public Administration", regarding the Internet. She has 82 papers in conference proceedings or refereed journals (from these papers, 29 have been presented or published abroad). She has published 8 books (1 book in France, 1 book in Germany and 6 books in Romania). She is a reviewer and a member in international program committee of various WSEAS conferences from abroad, reviewer at "Journal of Knowledge, Communications and Computing Technologies", member in the teams of 9 research projects (one of which is international) and project manager for one research project. Since 2002, she is a member of INFOREC (Romanian Association for Economic Informatics Training Promotion), since 2005, she is a member of WSEAS (World Scientific and Engineering Academy and Society) and since 2009, she is a member of SCT (Society for Computing Technologies).