Adieu, Online School

NSTISSI Training BadgeI have shut down my online school. It was an interesting experience, but not a cost-effective one. Aside from not getting rich from this, it was really boring to administer a testing program.

On the other hand, I now know an incredible amount about Moodle, the internationally-popular web service for education. I also know how to host an online testing program for much less that commercial vendors charge.

My first attempt used an online testing vendor. This was ridiculously expensive: there was a huge annual fee and a gigantic per-test fee as well. I eventually figured out I could do the whole thing with Moodle for a lot less.

So I found a service that hosted Moodle. That was a lot more successful. It was expensive, too, but much less expensive. I saved 75% per year by switching to Moodle.

I also needed a state license to offer “career education,” which this was. The licensing process was also expensive. I have to re-file every year. I had to provide an annual report on school finances produced by a CPA.

A couple hundred students a year would have made it worthwhile, assuming I didn’t have to buy advertising to lure them in. Advertising can be expensive, too. In the end it just didn’t make sense to continue.