The Alliance for Higher Education Competitiveness released their Internet Supported Learning study that examines factors influencing success achievement in Internet-Supported Learning in Higher Education. Take a look at the Executive Summary. It's a quick read and boils down the very interesting findings.
Each of the eight summary findings are excellent; however, two in particular interest me:
Summary Finding Three
"Successful institutions measure themselves in a variety of ways depending on what is important to them; quality is at least or more important than growth."
So, course quality before quantity is the important idea here!
Summary Finding Five
"The “secret sauce” of achieving success in Internet-supported learning varies from institution to institution, however, a “programmatic approach” with a commitment to fully online programs seems to be most critical"
So, institutions should discontinue the practice of developing an online course just because a certain professor or SME with expertise happens to be available at the time. Instead, they should focus on programme based course development so that students have a clear path to obtaining academic credentials entirely online.