ERIC Number: ED186455
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Apr
Reference Count: 0
A Cost-Benefit Methodology for Summative Evaluation.
Although there is high interest in determining whether or not an educational program provides good value for its cost, it is difficult to make this determination, since people are not generally conceptualized as products and since educational benefits are not easily translated into financial terms. Economic principles suggest that the cost of obtaining something is the value placed on whatever must be sacrificed to obtain it. This opportunity cost varies among individuals, changes with time, and depends upon the individual's prior learning. The value of learning can be computed by approximating the banker's compound interest formula; the opportunity cost and the number of times the learning is used are considered in this formula. Once the costs are computed, the cost-benefit model should consider the service provided, as well as all those who benefit from it and those who pay for it. Although this procedure has not been empirically validated, it provides a simple and objective method of examining multiple outcomes over time. (Ten steps for carrying out a cost-benefit evaluation are described). (GDC)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (64th, Boston, MA, April 7-11, 1980).