Costs of E-Learning Support: An Investigation Across 139 Small Projects

Costs of E-Learning Support: An Investigation Across 139 Small Projects

Paul Lam (The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong), Josephine Csete (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong) and Carmel McNaught (The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/jea.2009010105
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Understanding the costing of e-learning informs decision-making on how to support the development and implementation of teaching and learning technologies in higher education. This paper describes costings and processes in a central e-learning support service that is especially applicable to face-to-face universities that use e-learning in a blended or supplemental mode. We differentiate three types of costs: infrastructure costs that are less sensitive to variation in the complexity of e-learning strategies, and edevelopment and e-delivery costs that are directly related to the nature of the strategies used. Using actual data from a three-year e-learning support project (e3Learning) with 139 sub-projects, the paper illustrates how the calculations promote an understanding of e-learning in the following four dimensions: 1) total cost of running an e-learning support service, 2) individual costs attributable to each of the sub-projects, 3) ‘price-tags’ of e-learning strategies, and 4) initial exploration of the cost-effectiveness issue.

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