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Learning Anywhere University:

New Course Costing


Assignment 3
OMDE 606-9040, Fall 2016

Group 1 Members:
Marcia Applewhite
Elizabeth Blindauer
Njichop Cho
Candace Daniels
Meridith Davis
Group Member Contributions

Marcia Applewhite-ingredients & report, group coordination

Elizabeth Blindauer-report editing

Njichop Cho-Assignment 3 spreadsheet-calculations & graphs

Candace Daniels-course design and overview

Meridith Davis-PowerPoint and narration


Narrative

Learn Anywhere University (LAU), an online distance education institution, provides a

variety of programs leading to certificates, Associate, Bachelor or Masters degrees. The majority

of the institutions students are working adults, who need the flexibility and convenience of

distance education. Learn Anywhere students have access to world-renowned faculty and 24/7

access to courses through the universitys learning management system (LMS), which includes

synchronous and asynchronous discussions via text, audio and video options. LAU has partnered

with public institutions and created articulation agreements which allow their students to attend

LAU as visiting students and transfer their credits back to their home school. LAU is frequented

by students seeking to take courses from an accredited institution at a reasonable price.

New Course Offering

A recent curriculum evaluation revealed that many of the introductory English and

writing courses had a high number of students with unsatisfactory grades. Upon closer

examination of writing samples, a decision was made to offer an introductory writing course for

all incoming students. The course is to be completed within the first semester students are

enrolled. For visiting students, a permission to enroll (or transient student) form will still be

required to override prerequisites.

The team developed the 1 credit hour course which will focus on grammar, punctuation,

organization and writing style. The course will be offered twice during the 12-week semester,

with each session lasting 6 weeks. Historically 95% of students pass the course, which requires a

minimum of a B to pass the course. The 5% who do not successfully pass will be able to retake

the course in the next 6-week session.


Students currently enrolled with less than 6 credits (approximately 1500 students) will be

required to complete the course during the first session of the initial semester. All new incoming

students (2000 per semester) will be required to complete the course during the second session of

the initial semester.

Course Materials

Throughout this course, students will be accessing the LMS to locate and use course

materials. These materials include video lectures, course syllabus, study guide, readings/articles,

assignments, discussion prompts, and external video content and web links. These materials are

all either created by the instructor specifically for this course or are public domain content. The

study guide will be instructor made and consist of 50 pages detailing important course content

and notes.

The course development team has included the following activities in the course:

Four 30-minute video lectures including practice assignments after each lecture
Five timed quizzes (4 unit quizzes and one final comprehensive quiz)
Two 5-page writing assignments

The quizzes will be automatically graded and the scores will be sent to the course facilitator. The

first writing assignment will be due at the end of week 2. This assignment will function as the

draft for the final writing assignment, due at the end of week 5. Students will receive feedback

from the facilitator and the support staff after the first writing assignment and following the final

paper.
Course Delivery

The system used by LAU is a Sakai-based open LMS. Sakai was created through a

collaboration between several universities. The project, funded by the Mellon Foundation, began

in 2005 as a partnership between four universities: University of Michigan, Indiana University,

MIT and Stanford University. The system was developed by higher education institutions and is

currently in use at numerous universities and colleges in addition to LAU. Although the

courseware is free, the LMS is used for a variety of reasons (Sakai Project, 2016). Over 300

institutions around the world use the current version (Sakai 10.0), in over 20 languages and

dialects. The LMS is used by approximately 1.25 million students in the U.S. and over 4 million

students worldwide (Sakai Project, 2016).

Sakai is an open source LMS, so the code is free to all to use. This allows the

organizations to modify the system, as needed. Additionally, since the Sakai code is free, there

are no license user fees and no cost to set up the LMS. This savings is important to online

distance education institutions, which are often trying to balance the cost efficiency of the

courses with their effectiveness. There are many Sakai users worldwide, so although LAU has an

internal technology department that maintains and updates the LMS, assistance is always nearby.

The Sakai community of users are a valuable resource when help is needed. Since many of the

users are leading universities, there is a wealth of information, experience and knowledge for

LAUs technology department.

The LMS offers students many tools and options. Once in the system, students can access

the syllabus, lectures, resources, assignments and quizzes. While this course uses video lectures,

additional features include the ability to creates podcasts and PowerPoint presentations, which

can be streamed to students. Students can subscribe to a Rich Site Summary (RSS) feed. This
feature is used to keep students updated in many courses or provide additional information

related to current events. The LMS even includes a Poll tool, allowing for the tabulation and

viewing of results quickly. There is also a Wiki tool which can be used for students to collaborate

on group projects, share documents and resources. This tool also provides notifications when an

update is made (document changes or added resource). The LMS is not fully compatible with

mobile phones, but can be used on tablets and other computer devices.

Costs

Given the grading parameters of the course facilitator and course support:

Section sizes will be limited to 50 students


Course facilitators will be limited to instructing three sections per session (150 per

session)

Going forward, we anticipate new enrollments to remain steady at 2000 students per

semester. Higher enrollments are necessary, but the course will be capped at 1500 for session 1,

and 500 students are estimated for session 2. There may be students who withdraw from the first

session and need to retake the course and they, along with those who fail the first session, will

also enter session 2.

Year 1

Semester 1: session 1 = 1500

Semester 1: session 2 = 500 + 5% of 1500 = 575

Semester 2: Session 1 = 1500 + 5% of 575 = 1529

Semester 2: session 2 = 500 + 5% of 1529 = 577


Total (Year 1) = 1500 + 575 + 1529 + 577 = 4181

Year 2

Semester 1: session 1 = 1500 + 5% of 577 = 1529

Semester 1: session 2 = 500 + 5% of 1529 = 577

Semester 2: session 1 = 1500 + 5% of 577 = 1529

Semester 2: session 2 = 500 + 5% of 1529 = 577

Total (Year 2) = 1529 + 577 + 1529 + 577 = 4212

This course will be assessed and updated after the first full year (4 sessions) of

implementation, and then each year thereafter for the next 4 years (year 2: 8 sessions, year 3: 12

sessions, year 4: 16 sessions).

Included are the costs associated with developing and implementing this new course:

Management Costs (lines 2-5)

The administrative and course mangement will be conducted by the course facilitator, who is the

academic lead. The costs equal .3 of the annual $60,000 annual salary. The management support

personnel will cost .5 of the $30,000 annual salary. These are recurrent costs.

o Course Facilitator: 60000*0.3 = $18,000


o Management Support: 30000*0.5 - $15,000

Course Development Costs (lines 8-20)


The course is developed in the first year by the course facilitator (academic) and the management

support (profesional staff). Their time will be the same as that designated in the manaement costs

(.3 for academic time and .5 for professional time).

The course will require the following materials:

A 50-page study guide (12.5 hrs. academic hours, 10 hrs. professional hrs.)
o Academic Time: 1200*12.5 = $15,000
o Professional Time: 700*10 = $7,000
4 lecture videos (10 hrs. academic hours, 8 hrs. professional hrs.)
o Academic Time: 10*2000 = $20,000
o Professional Time: 8*1500 = $12,000
Syllabus (15 hrs. academic hours)
o Academic Time: 200*15 = $3,000
5 quizzes & 2 writing assignment (7 hrs. academic hours)
o Academic Time: 7*150 = $1,050
Discussion prompts (5 hrs. academic hours)
o Academic Time: 5*100 = $500

Additional free public domain materials from the Internet may be used at the discretion of the

instructor.

Maintenance Costs (lines 22-25)

Course maintenance will require 10 hours of academic time for content development and 6 hours

of professional time for layout and design.

Content Deveopment
o Academic Time: 10*1000 = $10,000
Layout & Design
o Professional Time: 6*700 = $4,200

Delivery (lines 27-30)

The online discussions for the new course will require 28 hours of academic time for a class with

50 students and and additional 5 academic hours for the grading of the two writing assignments.
Online Discussions
o Academic Time: 28*5 = $140
Marking Assignments
o Academic Time: 5*21 = $105

Income (line 31)

Income amount is based on course credit hours. The cost per credit hour for this 1 credit hour

course is $350.

Income
o Per Credit: 1*350 = $350

Conclusion

Weaker writing skills in college freshmen may have been the impetus to design and

develop the course, any higher education institution will look for a course that not only meets the

objective at hand, but also bring in additional income. Looking at the calculations for the course,

it will be profitable in the second year. Costs can be kept low by higher enrollment, while

maintaining the per credit price for the next five years. While measuring the outcome of learning

can be problematic, measuring the cost of the course determine to its cost-effectiveness is

essential. This is a complex process, according to Ng (2000), however in this design, the

outcome for students and the university should be a positive one. The true assessment of student

outcome will happen outside of this course, since it is their productivity in other classes which

will prove the effectiveness of the course.


Figure 1: Ingredients
Figure 2: Calculations

Figure 3: Graph Data


Figure 4: TC Graph

Figure 5: AC Graph
References
Helsmann, T, (2000). The cost of open learning. A handbook. BIS-Verlag der Carl von
Ossietzky Universitaet Oldenburg. Vol. 2. Oldenburg
Huelsmann, T. (n.d). Costing in open and distance learning, Costing tool3. Commonwealth of
Learning
How Open Works (2016). Sakai Project. Retrieved from https://sakaiproject.org
Ng, K. (2000). Costs and Effectiveness of Online Courses in Distance Education. Open
Learning, 15(3). Retrieved from http://www2.tisip.no/neworkers/cost-and-effectiveness-
of-online-courses.pdf