chapter  5
18 Pages

Cost considerations, economic benefits and budget

For an institution setting out to offer a course on the Internet, the question must be how much the institution is willing to spend (or is it invest?) to set up the course. The investment will have a value, but there are investments in kind and it is in these investments in kind or goodwill investments of staff that could affect the outcomes of course delivery. For example, it is relatively easy and therefore cheap to run a generic mark-up language over a Word file and then claim that you have a course on the Internet (having set up your WWW site, etc). However, over the last five years of monitoring these sites, such a cheap adaptation to the Internet means that learners using the course are likely to be faced with long scrolled pages of text on screen or incessant mouse clicks as they scroB through pages of

course information. In the long run, this cheap and quick solution leads to dissatisfaction by the learner and the material will be ignored. As such, the cost of establishing the site will not be amortized by people visiting the si te or taking up the learning materials. As a result, the capital costs of file servers, Iocal (LAN) and wide area (W AN) network considerations and the costs of developing even the cheapest version of a course for the Internet will be difficult to justify.