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Cost Planning Tool

The cost planning tool is a formatted spreadsheet that enables institutions to compare the before costs (the traditional course format) and the after costs (the redesigned course at the end of the development process).

There are a variety of ways to redesign courses using technology to reduce costs. One approach is where student enrollments stay the same but the instructional resources devoted to the course are reduced. Another is to increase enrollments with little or no change in expenditures. In each case, a translation of the savings to cost-per-student can be used for comparative purposes. NCAT's Cost Reduction Strategies summarizes the most effective strategies that can reduce instructional costs.

Fundamental to all of these approaches is moving away from the predominant credit-for-contact mode of instruction. Some redesigns employ a greater reliance on asynchronous, self-paced learning modes while others take place in a traditional, synchronous classroom setting but with reduced student/faculty contact hours. Both rely on shifting faculty time-on-task to the technology or lessening the labor-intensive quality of instruction. In each case, they are designed to transfer the locus of activity from the faculty to the student: the focus is on student problem solving and projects rather than on presentation of materials.