Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

Anytime, Anyplace Learning

Since 1992, the Foundation has made grants totaling nearly $75 million in support of the development of Asynchronous Learning Networks (ALNs). These networks provide remote access to high-quality higher education and training—anytime and anyplace—by providing access to instructors, classmates, syllabi, readings, and other educational resources via the Internet.

Approximately five million learners in degree-granting institutions now enroll in at least one ALN online course. ALN blends (ALN combined with traditional classroom teaching) have helped academic institutions meet the needs of local student populations. The program has demonstrated effective applications of online education for such special populations as U.S. Army personnel and students displaced by Hurricane Katrina, for workforce development in specific industries, and for training of low-wage workers. The Sloan Consortium, now a group of about 1500 academic institutions, spearheaded the movement to establish quality online courses and programs. A 2008, three-year, $4 million grant to the Consortium led to a business plan for the Consortium’s transition to a self-sustaining 501(c)(3) professional society. Ongoing projects are focusing on increasing the Sloan Consortium membership base, creating strategic relationships with foreign universities to add an international dimension to the Consortium, increasing the Consortium’s non-membership revenue base, and creating a credible and up-to-date national catalog of online courses and programs.

Note: Grantmaking in this program has ended.