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Program in Course Redesign

University at Buffalo (SUNY)

Computer Literacy—Course Planning Tool

The Course Planning Tool is a formatted spreadsheet that facilitates a three-step process for institutions to establish and compare the instructional costs before redesign (the traditional course) and the instructional costs after the redesign (the redesigned course).

Step #1 shows the calculation of all personnel costs associated with preparing and delivering the course expressed as an hourly rate. Annual salary for faculty listed is the average of all faculty teaching the course and includes a 29% benefits rate. Step #2 uses this initial calculation to determine the cost of preparing and delivering the traditional course. Step #3 calculates these costs for the redesigned course. More specific Course Planning Tool instructions are available.

Below are a summary of the cost savings anticipated at the State University of New York at Buffalo and the completed course planning tool.

Cost Savings

In the redesign, enrollment remains constant and the combined faculty time devoted to the course is reduced from 723 hours to 464. Temporary faculty are no longer needed, reducing costs further, since their hourly rate is higher ($62) than the hourly rate of lecturers ($35). In addition, the redesign employs ULAs ($8 per hour) instead of GTAs ($39 per hour) to provide assistance to students in labs as needed and with increased flexibility. Faculty lectures decrease from three to two, reducing the preparation needed for formal presentations. This redesign plan will result in a 54% cost reduction in the cost-per-student (from $248 to $114).

[For more detailed information regarding their initial academic redesign, consult the project plan description.]

Step #1: Determine Instructional Costs per Hour

Instructional Costs per Hour—Computer Literacy

Faculty Lecturer Temporary
    Faculty
Annual Salary and Benefits $55,769 $11,565
% devoted to instruction/support 100.0% 100.0%
% devoted to this course
33.3%
100.0%
$ devoted to this course $18,590 $11,565
     
Contact hours for course 131 66
Out of class hours 403 123
Total hours 534 189
Cost per hour $35 $61
        
Graduate TAs/GAs      
       
Annual Salary and Benefits $19,544   
% devoted to instruction 100%   
% devoted to this course 50%  
$ devoted to this course $9,772  
     
Contact hours for course 189  
Out of class hours 64  
Total Hours 253  
Cost per hour $39  
     
Undergraduate TAs    
Cost per hour $8  
     
Professional/Staff $ per  
Positions Hour  
      
Tech Support $7  
UG lab staff $7  
#1 $50  
#2 $35  
#3 $35  
#4 New Staff $30  

Step #2: Determine Instructional Costs per Hour

Instructional Costs of Traditional Course—Computer Literacy

  Lecturer 2 Temp. Fac.   GAs   Undergrad Support  
  # of Hours Total Cost # of Hours Total Cost # of Hours Total Cost # of Hours Total Cost
  Hourly rate= $35 Hourly rate= $61 Hourly rate= $39 Hourly rate= $7
I. Course Preparation                   
                 
A. Curriculum Development 16 $557            
B. Materials Acquisition 45 $1,567            
C. Materials Development                
1. Lectures/presentations 45 $1,567 45 $2,754        
2. Learning materials/software 45 $1,567            
3. Diagnostic assessments 5 $174            
4. Assignments 55 $1,915            
5. Tests/evaluations 49 $1,706 23 $1,407        
Sub-Total 260 $9,051 68 $4,161        
                 
D. Faculty/TA Devmt/Training                
1. Orientation 5 $174 5 $306 35 $1,351    
2. Staff meetings 25 $870 5 $306 105 $4,053    
3. Attend lectures                
Sub-Total 30 $1,044 10 $612 140 $5,404    
Total Preparation 290 $10,096 78 $4,773 140 $5,404    
                 
II. Course Delivery                
                 
A. Instruction                
1. Diagnose skill/knowledge                
2. Presentation 86 $2,994 43 $2,631 540 $20,844    
3. Interaction 45 $1,567 23 $1,407 665 $25,669 1589 $10,924
4. Progress monitoring 20 $696 10 $612        
Sub-Total 151 $5,257 76 $4,650 1205 $46,513 1589 $10,924
                 
B. Evaluation                
1. Test proctoring 17 $592 10 $612 119 $4,593    
2. Tests/evaluation 76 $2,646 25 $1,530 308 $11,889    
Sub-Total 93 $3,238 35 $2,142 427 $16,482    
Total Delivery 244 $8,494 111 $6,792 1632 $62,995 1589 $10,924
                 
TOTAL 534 $18,590 189 $11,565 1772 $68,399 1589 $10,924
Staff #1 186 $9,350            
Staff #2 39 $1,379            
Staff #3 39 $1,352            
GRAND TOTAL   $121,559            
Total # of students   490            
Cost per student   $248            

Step #3: Determine Instructional Costs of the Redesigned Course

Instructional Costs of Redesigned Course—Redesign A—Computer Literacy

  Lecturer   Undergrad TAs  
  # of Hours Total Cost # of Hours Total Cost
  Hourly rate= $35 Hourly rate= $8
I. Course Preparation        
         
A. Curriculum Development 16 $557    
B. Materials Acquisition 45 $1,567    
C. Materials Development        
1. Lectures/presentations 30 $1,044 315 $2,520
2. Learning materials/software 45 $1,567    
3. Diagnostic assessments 5 $174    
4. Assignments 55 $1,915    
5. Tests/evaluations 34 $1,184    
Sub-Total 230 $8,007 315 $2,520
         
D. Faculty/TA Devmt/Training        
1. Orientation 10 $348 210 $1,680
2. Staff meetings 25 $870 315 $2,520
3. Attend lectures        
Sub-Total 35 $1,218 525 $4,200
Total Preparation 265 $9,225 840 $6,720
         
II. Course Delivery        
         
A. Instruction        
1. Diagnose skill/knowledge 15 $522    
2. Presentation 90 $3,133 1490 $11,920
3. Interaction 45 $1,567 420 $3,360
4. Progress monitoring 10 $348    
Sub-Total 160 $5,570 1910 $15,280
         
B. Evaluation        
1. Test proctoring 3 $104 420 $3,360
2. Tests/evaluation 36 $1,253    
Sub-Total 39 $1,358 420 $3,360
Total Delivery 199 $6,928 2330 $18,640
         
TOTAL 464 $16,153 3170 $25,360
Undergraduate Administration 600 $4,800    
Staff #1 46 $2,312    
Staff #4 240 $7,229    
GRAND TOTAL   $55,854    
Total # of students   490    
Cost per student   $114    

Instructional Costs of Redesigned Course—Redesign B—Computer Literacy

  Lecturer   Undergrad TAs  
  # of Hours Total Cost # of Hours Total Cost
  Hourly rate = $35 Hourly rate = $8
I. Course Preparation        
          
A. Curriculum Development 16 $557    
B. Materials Acquisition 45 $1,567    
C. Materials Development        
1. Lectures/presentations 30 $1,044 435 $3,480
2. Learning materials/software 45 $1,567    
3. Diagnostic assessments 5 $174    
4. Assignments 55 $1,915    
5. Tests/evaluations 34 $1,184    
Sub-Total 230 $8,007 435 $3,480
         
D. Faculty/TA Devmt/Training        
1. Orientation 10 $348 290 $2,320
2. Staff meetings 25 $870 435 $3,480
3. Attend lectures        
Sub-Total 35 $1,218 725 $5,800
Total Preparation 265 $9,225 1160 $9,280
         
II. Course Delivery        
         
A. Instruction        
1. Diagnose skill/knowledge 15 $522    
2. Presentation 90 $3,133 2024 $16,192
3. Interaction 45 $1,567 570 $4,560
4. Progress monitoring 10 $348    
Sub-Total 160 $5,570 2594 $20,752
         
B. Evaluation        
1. Test proctoring 3 $104 569 $4,552
2. Tests/evaluation 49 $1,706    
Sub-Total 52 $1,810 569 $4,552
Total Delivery 212 $7,380 3163 $25,304
         
TOTAL 477 $16,606 4323 $34,584
Undergraduate Administration 600 $4,800    
Staff #1 46 $2,313    
Staff #4 240 $7,229    
GRAND TOTAL   $65,532    
Total # of students   665    
Cost per student   $99    

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