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Impact on Cost Savings

University of Wisconsin–Madison

Were costs reduced as planned?

The goal of reducing TA time was accomplished successfully; TAs spent fewer hours per week on their duties, and students received instruction at least as good as before. Faculty and TAs are enthusiastic about the time savings time that this system affords, and faculty in the organic chemistry division are enthusiastic about using this system in their courses as well.

The goal of reducing the number of lectures per week was not implemented, and the portion of the cost savings expected from this reduction has not been achieved. Despite the fact that the course-redesign team has shown that students are able to learn effectively in the absence of lectures and textbook material, there is considerable faculty and student resistance to decreasing the number of lecture hours per week. Per semester, 60 hours for the lecturer (preparation and presentation time) and 120 hours for TAs add back $10,740 per course. Although the cost-per-student is still reduced from $257 to $215 in the redesign, the total cost savings of $172,000 is lower than the original projection of $297,000.

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