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Factors Influencing the Costs of Online Courses

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The cost is an important criterion to be used to evaluate e-learning technologies. ... The unit cost can be minimised by increasing enrolment per year, adding more ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Factors Influencing the Costs of Online Courses


1
Factors Influencing the Costs of On-line Courses
  • Alaa Sadik, Ph.D.
  • Lecturer in Educational Technology
  • South Valley University, Egypt
  • E-mail alaasadik_at_hotmail.com
  • Web www.freewebs.com/alaasadik

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2
Wired ClassA Web-based learning environment for
teaching studentsat a distancewww.freewebs.com/
alaasadik
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3
ACTIONS Model (Bates, 1995)
Access Costs Teaching and learning
functions Interactivity and user-friendliness Orga
nisational issues Novelty Speed
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4
The cost analysis of e-learning
ACTIONS Model The cost is an important criterion
to be used to evaluate e-learning technologies.
(Bates, 1995).
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5
Research questions
1. What is the cost structure of on-line
courses? 2. How much does the cost of on-line
courses? 3. What are the factors affecting this
cost?
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6
Methodology Approaches to examine the costs of
on-line learning
  • Comparative approach
  • Values approach
  • Return-on-investment approach
  • Mathematical modelling approach

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7
Methodology Mathematical modelling approach
  • Easily quantifiable.
  • Helps in decision making.
  • Helps to evaluate different alternatives.
  • Can be optimised according to the technology.
  • Can be expressed in a variety of ways.

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8
The cost structure of on-line coursesTypes of
costs
1. Course-related costs (production and delivery
costs) Costs of development and distribution of
course materials 2. Student-related costs
(access costs) Costs of purchasing computers,
Internet connection and phone calls
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The cost structure of on-line coursesTypes of
costs
1. Infrastructure costs 2. Course development
costs 3. Delivery and support costs
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10
Development and delivery costs Types of costs
1. Fixed costs (capital costs recurrent costs
) Purchasing/renting the Web server, developing
course materials, constructing the components of
the learning environment, maintenance, etc. 2.
Variable costs (student related) Tuition,
administration, technical support, etc.
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11
Development and delivery costsExamples
  • Server hardware, software and connection
  • Development packages
  • Transforming the course content into the on-line
    format
  • Tuition and administration
  • Technical support

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12
The proportion of variable costs to fixed costs
  • The variable costs are higher than the fixed
    costs and the potential for obtaining economies
    of scale is minimal

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13
The semi-fixed costs of the Web server
  • Up to the delivery capacity of the Web server,
    the costs of the Web server and Internet
    connection behave as fixed costs

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14
The relationship between the variable, fixed and
total costs
  • The fixed cost is constant throughout the course
    and the variable cost slopes directly with the
    number of students

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15
Development and delivery costs
Unit cost The unit cost is the cost of the course
for each student per study hour
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16
Development and delivery costs
Marginal cost The marginal cost is the cost of
adding one or more units of output to the system
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17
The unit cost with increasing the number of
students
  • The economies of scale curve shows that as the
    number of students rises the unit cost per
    student falls

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18
The unit cost with increasing the number of
courses
  • Increasing the number of courses reduces the unit
    cost per course

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19
The unit cost, number of students and number of
courses
  • The unit cost can be minimised by increasing
    enrolment per year, adding more courses to the
    learning environment

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20
The unit cost, number of students and number of
courses
  • By increasing the number of enrolments per
    course, the course lifetime and the number of
    courses in the learning environment, the fixed
    costs of course development can be distributed
    over a larger number of students, allowing the
    cost per student to be fallen significantly

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21
Development and delivery costs
  • The quality of on-line materials
  • Multimedia attributes (e.g., motion, sound, three
    dimensional images, simulation, etc.)
  • Interactive components (e.g., Java applets,
    interactive forms, etc.).

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22
Development and delivery costs
  • The quality of on-line materials
  • High quality materials need more planning and
    programming time than simple textual materials,
    and require sophisticated production tools and
    skilful Web developers.

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23
Development and delivery costs
  • The quality of on-line materials
  • Unless the use of multimedia attributes to
    present specific concepts or skills is essential
    textual materials may be more cost-effective than
    multimedial and quality on-line materials.

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Development and delivery costs
  • The instructional design of the programme
  • Managing the learning environment, monitor
    students activities, processing students'
    inputs, responding to students' questions and
    providing feedback.

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25
Development and delivery costs
  • The instructional design of the programme
  • These activities might force the tutor to put
    much time into on-line interaction and make the
    development costs of even relatively simple
    on-line materials higher than print.

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26
Development and delivery costs
  • The instructional design of the programme
  • To minimise student-tutor interaction use
    self-study and self-assessment materials and
    encourage students to support each other
    student-student interaction.

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Factors influencing the development and support
costs of on-line courses
  • In Conclusion
  • Enrolment
  • Course-life-time
  • Number of courses offered
  • Quality of on-line materials
  • Instructional design
  • Students role
  • Teachers role

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For more information visitwww.freewebs.com/alaasa
dik
Thank you
The End
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