Online Learning Update

September 28, 2013

How online content development and delivery could improve the productivity of post-secondary education

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:10 am

by Tony Bates, Online Learning and Distance Education Resources

Nowhere in online learning is there such potential for increases in educational productivity as in content development and delivery. Once learning materials are created, they can be stored, accessed, delivered and used by an unlimited number of learners, thus potentially achieving large economies of scale and thereby reducing costs per learner. MOOCs are a classic example of economies of scale. Once lectures are ‘captured’ they can be stored and accessed by anyone with high speed Internet access. xMOOCs in particular have another ‘productivity’ advantage, in that they can also achieve economies of scope, in that the lectures would have been prepared and video-captured in any case for on-campus students, and thus once produced they can also made available to the rest of the world at technically little or no extra cost. Thus the cost of conversion from on-campus to online is less than it would have been if there was no on-campus version. (However, we shall see below that there are additional costs in creating xMOOCs compared to online credit courses). Even for online courses for credit, there are considerable economies of scale in course development and delivery.

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