The emergence of new technologies has transformed education substantially. Considering the long history of education, it won’t be an overstated truth to consider the transformation in the availability of education, an educational renaissance, “removing the barriers of time and place” . Such rather newly introduced advancements have enabled the reaching to those, whose demographical or geographic circumstances are not responsive to the more traditional forms of on-campus learning. Additionally, the enhanced pedagogical systems that are emerging in parallel to the technological advancements (such as broadband and wireless internet capability) mean that the off-campus experience can offer efficient, while intensively engaging student experiences. 
This article is attempting to (1) analyze the secondary data concerning the Australian marketplace of online higher education, (2) review some of the competitive strategies universities are implementing in this marketplace and subsequently (3) discuss the determinants of perceived online education success from the students point of view. Following the discussing there will be (4) a short survey that attempts to initiate a discussion and gather primary data on the key determinants of satisfaction in university online education.
- Marketplace Attractiveness of Online Higher Education
In the 1980s the Australian government permitted and encouraged public universities to reach the international education markets. Subsequently in the following years most Australian universities entered into the market of online education, driven by intensive global competition [2,3]. The idea of online higher education mostly appeals to certain demographic and geographic sections. Most notable of these market segments are international students, students with a higher age than average whom pursue work alongside studies and students from regional and remote areas.
According to a survey conducted in the first half of 2014 by The Department of Education and Training , a total of about 1,200,000 domestic and international students enrolled at higher education institutions in the first half of 2014, while overseas student enrolments were about 271,000, approximately 4.5 percent of total enrolments. Commencing students in regional areas in the first half of 2014 constituted 6.2 per cent of total commencing students in the same period in 2014. Market attractiveness of online higher education is most evident in the United States – the world’s most mature market – where nearly one-third of all students enrolled in some sort of higher education enrolled in at least one online course during the fall 2011. 
- Innovative Marketing in Online Higher Education
Universities are continuously adapting rigorous strategies to stay competitive in the global marketplace of online higher education. Apart from the innovative design aspects of online education (which is a lengthy yet interesting topic by itself), perhaps the most recent of these strategies is the “massive open online courses” (MOOCs).
According to a recent comprehensive survey (Ten Years of Tracking Online Education) , only the minority of chief academics believe MOOCs have the potential to attract students to their institutions. In fact it may also appear as a contradictory business model for universities to make their sought-after teaching materials available to the general public. Nevertheless academic institutions are entering into this type of course with a longer view of investing in a potential market for the future or as a way to build their institution’s brand awareness. Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Yale and MIT are among those universities, entering MOOCs to enhance their reputation, to invest in an alternative revenue stream and to increase their brand awareness through the publicity the MOOCs bring.
- Perceived Quality in Online Higher Education
It has been suggested  that online education can potentially be a superior mode of education if it is directed towards students with visual and read/write learning styles and if the instructors provide timely and meaningful feedbacks. The same study suggests that the determinants of students’ satisfaction depends mainly on course structure, instructor feedback quality, ability to self-motivate, learning style (visual and read/write learning styles), possibility to interact, and instructor facilitation (who stimulates, guides, and challenges students via empowering students with freedom and responsibility).
- Survey Question
Here I would like to ask members of the Marketing Management community and The Deakin University Marketing and MBA students to respond to the following short survey, which attempts to gather primary data on the key determinants of satisfaction and to initiate a discussion on their experience with online education environments.
As an academic with teaching experience in tertiary contexts, I personally think that despite the many advantages of online education, the difficulties to stimulate distant students to intellectual effort is the major challenge of online education. How do YOU determine learning outcomes and satisfaction in online education? Rank the various determinants of students’ satisfaction in online higher education in order of preference. Begin by picking out the one characteristic of online education that you think is most important and assign it a rank “1”. Then, find the second most important preferred characteristic and assign it a rank “2”. Continue this procedure until you have ranked all the characteristics of online education that determine student satisfaction in order of preference, The least preferred characteristic should be assigned a rank of “6”. Please also state the mode of your education, whether off-campus or on-campus with partial online subjects.
|1. Course structure|
|2. Instructor feedback quality|
|3. Ability to self-motivate|
|4. Learning style|
|5. Possibility to interact|
|6. Instructor knowledge & facilitation|
 An Agenda for Australian higher education: a smarter australia 2013–2016, Universities Australia. http://universitiesaustralia.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Universities-Australia-A-Smarter-Australia.pdf
 Wendy Sutherland-Smith and Sue Saltmarsh, “Minding the ‘P’s for Implementing Online Education: Purpose, Pedagogy, and Practicalities”, Australian Journal of Teacher Education, Vol 35, 7, November 2010
 Summary of the 2014 first half year higher education student statistics, Australian Government, Department of Education and Training https://education.gov.au/selected-higher-education-statistics-2014-student-data
 E-Learning Market Trends & Forecast 2014 – 2016 Report A report by Docebo | March 2014  Sean B. Eom and H. Joseph Wen, “The Determinants of Students’ Perceived Learning Outcomes and Satisfaction in University Online Education: An Empirical Investigation” Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education Volume 4 Number 2 July 2006.