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The Economics of e-Learning for Remote Students Jonathan Darby University of Oxford jonathan. darby@conted. The Economics of e-Learning for Remote Students Jonathan Darby University of Oxford jonathan. [email protected] ox. ac. uk ALT Policy Board – 12 July 2001

Mission statements • Department for Continuing Education § To make the University of Oxford, Mission statements • Department for Continuing Education § To make the University of Oxford, and the quality of education and scholarship that it represents, assessable to men and women in ways which complement the University’s provision for its resident members • Technology-Assisted Lifelong Learning § To build on Oxford University’s international pre- eminence to create Internet-mediated courses and educational services of the highest quality ALT Policy Board – 12 July 2001

Rationale • The Department’s mission • Technology can help meet unmet needs • Flexibility Rationale • The Department’s mission • Technology can help meet unmet needs • Flexibility is at a premium in lifelong learning • Technology can reduce costs and raise quality • The future success of the Department could depend of learning technology ALT Policy Board – 12 July 2001

Life cycle of an organisation Life cycle of an organisation

Restarting the lifecycle Restarting the lifecycle

Student differences Traditional Distance learning § plenty of time § limited time § in Student differences Traditional Distance learning § plenty of time § limited time § in the studying § highly motivated but groove § want to be told what they need to know § limited life experience § not in a position to pay full cost “out of practice” § usually have specific learning needs § highly relevant life experiences to share § may be able to pay full cost ALT Policy Board – 12 July 2001

Economic differences Traditional Distance learning § most funding already § creating new committed § Economic differences Traditional Distance learning § most funding already § creating new committed § motivation is to improve quality of teaching § no new money § must work with existing system business § motivation is to serve new markets § new students bring additional income § can work alongside existing system ALT Policy Board – 12 July 2001

Course development stages • • Feasibility assessment Course specification Resource allocation and planning Learning Course development stages • • Feasibility assessment Course specification Resource allocation and planning Learning object creation Assembly of alpha course version Testing and review cycle Delivery and evaluation Course respecification and redevelopment ALT Policy Board – 12 July 2001

Online course design objectives • • • Simplicity Consistency Familiarity Accuracy Navigability • • Online course design objectives • • • Simplicity Consistency Familiarity Accuracy Navigability • • • Economy Clarity Granularity Legality Documentation ALT Policy Board – 12 July 2001

Online course design approach • Thorough market research § large markets § niche markets Online course design approach • Thorough market research § large markets § niche markets • • Very small learning components Multiple media (not multimedia) Central role for tutor Continuous revision § 20% of initial development costs per annum ALT Policy Board – 12 July 2001

Working with limits • Quality § defining learning object mix to give best learning Working with limits • Quality § defining learning object mix to give best learning experience for the subject • Time § figure optimum course that can be delivered by fixed deadline • Cost § identify best mix of learning objects for budget ALT Policy Board – 12 July 2001

Less is more • In (conventional) CPD each student on average needs 30% or Less is more • In (conventional) CPD each student on average needs 30% or course § prior knowledge § not relevant to work • Solution § needs analysis/assessment of prior learning § concept mapping/knowledge representation/learning pathways § individualised courses § mentoring ALT Policy Board – 12 July 2001

Development team One year half-time course: • Programme director (20%) • Project manager (40%) Development team One year half-time course: • Programme director (20%) • Project manager (40%) • Academic course director (50%) • Subject specialist course designer (100%) • Learning technologist (50%) • Information technologist (50%) • Graphic designer (50%) • Content authors (100%) • Administrator (40%) • Evaluator (25%) • Marketer (20%) • External assessor (5%) ALT Policy Board – 12 July 2001

ALT Policy Board – 12 July 2001 ALT Policy Board – 12 July 2001

Development costs ALT Policy Board – 12 July 2001 Development costs ALT Policy Board – 12 July 2001

Per course delivery costs • Course maintenance and update § 10 to 20% of Per course delivery costs • Course maintenance and update § 10 to 20% of development cost § £ 25, 000 ($40, 000) to £ 50, 000 ($80, 000) • Server costs § £ 10, 000 ($16, 000) ALT Policy Board – 12 July 2001

Per student delivery costs ALT Policy Board – 12 July 2001 Per student delivery costs ALT Policy Board – 12 July 2001

Student costs • Course fee § £ 2500 ($4000) • Computer system if not Student costs • Course fee § £ 2500 ($4000) • Computer system if not already owned § £ 0 to £ 1000 ($1600) • Internet access (4 hours per week) § £ 100 ($160) • Printing § £ 20 to £ 60 ($32 to $96) ALT Policy Board – 12 July 2001

Years to break-even ALT Policy Board – 12 July 2001 Years to break-even ALT Policy Board – 12 July 2001

Minimising costs without compromising quality • Development § avoiding multimedia § working to a Minimising costs without compromising quality • Development § avoiding multimedia § working to a fine level of granularity § tight project planning and monitoring § establishing market before starting • Delivery § delivering all materials via the Internet § using part-time tutors § automating administration • Activity Based Costing (ABC) ALT Policy Board – 12 July 2001