ERIC Number: ED445649
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-May
Reference Count: N/A
Cost Analysis of Online Courses. AIR 2000 Annual Forum Paper.
Milam, John H., Jr.
This paper presents a complex, hybrid, method of cost analysis of online courses, which incorporates data on expenditures; student/course enrollment; departmental consumption/contribution; space utilization/opportunity costs; direct non-personnel costs; computing support; faculty/staff workload; administrative overhead at the department, dean, and institution level; revenue stream; and financial aid. Data compared costs of online versus traditional courses at an urban, public, doctoral I university for four pairs of courses: English, management information systems, decision sciences, and astronomy. Among the findings noted are the following: total expenditures for traditional and online courses are in relatively the same range (with one exception which had high overhead but also high revenues); net costs per section are higher for online courses; departments which have extensive course sections benefit by offering online courses; there are significant startup costs in personnel, mainly attributable to content development for online courses; in this study all the online courses were taught by full-time faculty, which ensured quality but increased cost; space is a cost-saving factor with some online courses. The paper notes that an important by-product of this process is information about the changing nature of faculty roles in online teaching and a better understanding of how to use technology cost effectively. (Contains 28 references.) (CH)
Descriptors: Computer Uses in Education, Cost Effectiveness, Distance Education, Educational Technology, Efficiency, Evaluation Methods, Expenditures, Higher Education, Input Output Analysis, Nontraditional Education, Online Systems, Open Education, Operations Research, Program Effectiveness, Resource Allocation, Systems Analysis, Universities
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Administrators; Practitioners; Researchers
Sponsor: Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: N/A