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Using ROI to Justify Your Online Learning Initiative

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Using ROI to Justify Your Online Learning Initiative

  1. 1. © Project Tomorrow 2011 Using ROI to Justify Your Online Learning Initiative Twitter: #vss309x7 Julie Evans, Project Tomorrow CEO November 11, 2011
  2. 2. © Project Tomorrow 2011 About Project Tomorrow (www.tomorrow.org) leading education nonprofit organization dedicated to the empowerment of stakeholder voices in education programs include the Speak Up National Research Project and related research
  3. 3. © Project Tomorrow 2011 About Speak Up National research project to inform federal, state & local policies, programs and funding for ed tech Over 2.2 million online surveys submitted since 2003 from K-12 students, parents, teachers, librarians & administrators National reports produced annually on the data results Research topics include: • Online Learning • Mobile Learning • Digital Content
  4. 4. © Project Tomorrow 2011 Calling all students, parents & educators to participate in Speak Up 2011! New online surveys for students, parents & educators open for input: October 10 - December 23 Data back to schools & districts – use for grants & planning February 2012 National data release – inform national/state policies & funding: March 2012 Learn more at www.tomorrow.org Enable, engage, empower your school’s stakeholder voices!
  5. 5. © Project Tomorrow 2011 A special report: The New Math for Justifying Online Learning Leveraging ROI and VOI Analysis for Ed Tech Investments Released in July 2011 in collaboration with Blackboard, Inc.
  6. 6. © Project Tomorrow 2011 Let’s Talk ROI & VOI Which of these are critical for your district? 1. Achieving your district’s core mission 2. Managing through fiscal difficulties 3. Leveraging technology to drive greater productivity and efficiency
  7. 7. © Project Tomorrow 2011 Let’s Talk ROI & VOI Which of these are critical for your district? 1. Achieving your district’s core mission 2. Managing through fiscal difficulties 3. Leveraging technology to drive greater productivity and efficiency 4. All of the above
  8. 8. © Project Tomorrow 2011 Let’s Talk ROI & VOI Are you also increasingly being asked these questions?
  9. 9. © Project Tomorrow 2011 Let’s Talk ROI & VOI Are you also increasingly being asked these questions? What is the return on that investment? What is the value of that investment?
  10. 10. © Project Tomorrow 2011 Let’s Talk ROI & VOI Three goals with this new report: 1. Spark new discussions re: investment decisions 2. Provide real world insights from district leaders 3. Empowering districts with a new methodology and language for justifying ed tech decisions (online learning projects as a proxy)
  11. 11. © Project Tomorrow 2011 Let’s Talk ROI & VOI Today’s discussion: • Review of report methodology • Share highlights from report • Introduce you to a new tool • Your thoughts and comments
  12. 12. © Project Tomorrow 2011 Let’s Talk ROI & VOI Report Methodology Guided by five key questions: 1. What factors are driving online learning projects? 2. What does VOI and ROI mean in an education setting? 3. What is the “new math” for justifying these decisions? 4. What can we learn from some innovative districts? 5. How can education leaders use this information?
  13. 13. © Project Tomorrow 2011 Let’s Talk ROI & VOI Report Methodology Development process: • Literature review • Research on ROI/VOI decision-making • Analysis of Speak Up national data • Survey of 34 district administrators • In-depth interviews with 10 district leaders
  14. 14. © Project Tomorrow 2011 Let’s Talk ROI & VOI Report Methodology Interviewees represented the following districts: Baltimore City Public Schools (MD) Fairfax County Public Schools (VA) Jefferson County Public Schools (CO) Lubbock Independent School District (TX) Marion County Public Schools (FL) Mooresville Graded School District (NC) Polk County Public Schools (FL) School District of Clay County (FL)
  15. 15. © Project Tomorrow 2011 Let’s Talk ROI & VOI 1. What factors are driving online learning projects?
  16. 16. © Project Tomorrow 2011 1. What factors are driving online learning projects? Increased interest and demand for online learning Over 1/3 of students in grades 6-12 (who have not taken an online class) would like to take an online class 5X more parents now say that online learning is a good investment for their child’s school 26% of teachers now say they prefer online courses for their professional development Source: Speak Up 2010 National Findings
  17. 17. © Project Tomorrow 2011 1. What factors are driving online learning projects? Increased interest and demand for online learning Source: Speak Up 2010 National Findings Audience 2008 2010 Administrators 21% 36% Teachers 49% 53% Traditional students 24% 40% Home-schooled students 5% 13% Students in continuation schools 3% 18% At risk students 10% 16% Administrators: Who is your primary audience for online classes?
  18. 18. © Project Tomorrow 2011 1. What factors are driving online learning projects? Increased interest and demand for online learning Example: Teachers’ Professional Development Three key motivating factors: 1. Solve training logistical challenges 2. Address state and federal compliance training issues 3. Leverage online learning for greater cost effectiveness
  19. 19. © Project Tomorrow 2011 Let’s Talk ROI & VOI 2. What does VOI and ROI mean in an education setting?
  20. 20. © Project Tomorrow 2011 2. What does VOI and ROI mean in an education setting? Defining VOI – Value of Investment Looks at how the investment achieves the core mission Analysis success dependent upon clear cut objectives Can evaluate both interim and end outcomes but head-on comparisons are difficult unless program goals are similar Traditionally the more comfortable analysis method for education leaders
  21. 21. © Project Tomorrow 2011 2. What does VOI and ROI mean in an education setting? Defining VOI – Value of Investment Example: Mooresville Graded School District (NC) “Digital Conversion” driven by district strategic plan to transform teaching and learning district wide. Re-purposed budget line items to be cost neutral. Per Dr. Smith, “LMS is the glue that holds this all together for our district.”
  22. 22. © Project Tomorrow 2011 2. What does VOI and ROI mean in an education setting? Defining ROI – Return on Investment Earnings generated per dollar of investment : comparing solution costs to monetary benefits Monetary benefits as savings and/or new revenue Provides way to compare investments with an objective, financially focused assessment Traditionally, has not been a standard practice in K12 education due to inherent challenges
  23. 23. © Project Tomorrow 2011 2. What does VOI and ROI mean in an education setting? Defining ROI – Return on Investment Inherent challenges & opportunities: • 56% of administrators in the survey has little or no familiarity with ROI • Only 18% had to complete an ROI analysis to justify their current online learning project • 85% said they would use a set of ROI tools to evaluate future investments • 75% of administrators say they would use these ROI tools for other ed tech decisions
  24. 24. © Project Tomorrow 2011 2. What does VOI and ROI mean in an education setting? Defining ROI – Return on Investment Example: Marion County Public Schools (FL) Catalyst for online teacher PD was financial. New legislation required teacher training – contract required teachers to be paid a stipend for afterschool PD. Online PD avoided the stipend pay and saved over $45,000. And provided way to “testdrive” online learning.
  25. 25. © Project Tomorrow 2011 2. What does VOI and ROI mean in an education setting? Investment Justification VOI Analysis Value of Investment ROI Analysis Return on Investment
  26. 26. © Project Tomorrow 2011 Let’s Talk ROI & VOI 3. What is the “new math” for justifying these decisions?
  27. 27. © Project Tomorrow 2011 3. What is the “new math” for justifying these decisions? Introducing . . . . . . A New Tool for District Leaders: The Online Learning Justification Ladder
  28. 28. © Project Tomorrow 2011 3. What is the “new math” for justifying these decisions? A New Tool for District Leaders: The Online Learning Justification Ladder Step 1: How? Step 2: Who? Step 3: What? Step 4: When? Step 5: Where? Step 6: Why?
  29. 29. © Project Tomorrow 2011 The Online Learning Justification Ladder Step 1: How? Step 2: Who? Step 3: What? Step 4: When? Step 5: Where? Step 6: Why? The questions provide a structured way to collect the data you need for either an ROI or a VOI analysis. And provide a format for articulating the analysis results to your stakeholders and/or decision-makers.
  30. 30. © Project Tomorrow 2011 The Online Learning Justification Ladder Ladder Step 1: How? How are you approaching the justification of your online learning project? Using an ROI or VOI analysis? Or both? Is an ROI analysis required to gain approval or commitment? Or it is more important to articulate the benefits through a VOI analysis?
  31. 31. © Project Tomorrow 2011 The Online Learning Justification Ladder Ladder Step 1: How? How are you approaching the justification of your online learning project? Using an ROI or VOI analysis? Or both? Is an ROI analysis required to gain approval or commitment? Or it is more important to articulate the benefits through a VOI analysis? Jefferson County Public Schools Virtual Academy
  32. 32. © Project Tomorrow 2011 The Online Learning Justification Ladder Ladder Step 2: Who? Who is your targeted audience for your online learning project? What are the needs of this audience? What are the current and future costs of meeting those needs? Why is online learning the best solution for this particular audience and their needs?
  33. 33. © Project Tomorrow 2011 The Online Learning Justification Ladder Ladder Step 2: Who? Who is your targeted audience for your online learning project? What are the needs of this audience? What are the current and future costs of meeting those needs? Why is online learning the best solution for this particular audience and their needs? Fairfax County Public Schools Lubbock Independent School District
  34. 34. © Project Tomorrow 2011 The Online Learning Justification Ladder Ladder Step 3: What? What is your specific online learning project that will address the needs of the targeted audience? What online courses or environment are you providing? What are all of the costs associated with your solution? What is the value-add of your solution? How will this solution impact student achievement?
  35. 35. © Project Tomorrow 2011 The Online Learning Justification Ladder Ladder Step 3: What? What is your specific online learning project that will address the needs of the targeted audience? What online courses or environment are you providing? What are all of the costs associated with your solution? What is the value-add of your solution? How will it impact student achievement? School District of Clay County
  36. 36. © Project Tomorrow 2011 The Online Learning Justification Ladder Ladder Step 4: When? When will your participants access the online learning course or the environment that you are providing? During the school day, afterschool, during summer recess, in the evening?
  37. 37. © Project Tomorrow 2011 The Online Learning Justification Ladder Ladder Step 4: When? When will your participants access the online learning course or the environment that you are providing? During the school day, afterschool, during summer recess, in the evening? Jefferson County Public Schools Lubbock County Independent School District
  38. 38. © Project Tomorrow 2011 The Online Learning Justification Ladder Ladder Step 5: Where? Where will your participants be when they access the online learning course or the environment that you are providing? At home, in the classroom, in a computer center, at the library, in the faculty room?
  39. 39. © Project Tomorrow 2011 The Online Learning Justification Ladder Ladder Step 5: Where? Where will your participants be when they access the online learning course or the environment that you are providing? At home, in the classroom, in a computer center, at the library, in the faculty room? Mooresville Graded School District Fairfax County Public Schools
  40. 40. © Project Tomorrow 2011 The Online Learning Justification Ladder Ladder Step 6: Why? Why is your online learning project a justifiable decision by either ROI or VOI standards? If ROI, what the cost savings or new revenue derived from the investment? If VOI, how does this project address our core mission as a district?
  41. 41. © Project Tomorrow 2011 The Online Learning Justification Ladder Ladder Step 6: Why? Bottom line: Why is this project a good investment of our district’s time and/or resources?
  42. 42. © Project Tomorrow 2011 The Online Learning Justification Ladder ROI Analysis – some factors to consider: Budget expense line items • Meeting costs – travel costs • Print materials, textbooks and curriculum guides • Teacher stipends / substitute fees • Redundant software licenses • Communications with parents • Transportation costs
  43. 43. © Project Tomorrow 2011 The Online Learning Justification Ladder ROI Analysis – some factors to consider: Sources for new revenue • Fees for PD courses – internal and external staff • Fees for summer school courses • Selling district courses • Virtual school management and/or consulting
  44. 44. © Project Tomorrow 2011 The Online Learning Justification Ladder VOI Analysis – some factors to consider: Potential value propositions • Course expansion and credit recovery • Student engagement, achievement, productivity • Teacher productivity • Increased participation in PD • Parental/community interactions • Curriculum alignment and consistency • Increased staff morale and motivation • Greener approach • Competitive edge
  45. 45. © Project Tomorrow 2011 The Online Learning Justification Ladder Report includes: • Three case studies • Jefferson County PS – Teacher PD Program • Clay County Schools – Home Connections Program • Lubbock ISD – Online Summer School • Ladder worksheet
  46. 46. © Project Tomorrow 2011 Recommendations on leveraging ROI and VOI 1. Know what you need to gain approval 2. Create a comprehensive plan 3. Don’t overreach but target a high profile need 4. There is no such thing as a free lunch 5. Don’t be afraid of ROI 6. Engage your stakeholders in the justification process 7. As your project matures, the label “project” is no longer appropriate 8. You can do this!
  47. 47. © Project Tomorrow 2011 Let’s Talk ROI & VOI Three goals with this new report: 1. Spark new discussions re: investment decisions 2. Provide real world insights from district leaders 3. Empowering districts with a new methodology and language for justifying ed tech decisions (online learning projects as a proxy)
  48. 48. © Project Tomorrow 2011 • National Speak Up Findings and reports • Additional data analysis from Speak Up 2010 • Presentations, podcasts and webinars • Evaluation services • Reports and white papers • Participate in Speak Up 2011! More Speak Up? www.tomorrow.org
  49. 49. © Project Tomorrow 2011 Calling all students, parents & educators to participate in Speak Up 2011! New online surveys for students, parents & educators open for input: October 10 - December 23 Data back to schools & districts – use for grants & planning February 2012 National data release – inform national/state policies & funding: March 2012 Learn more at www.tomorrow.org Enable, engage, empower your school’s stakeholder voices!
  50. 50. © Project Tomorrow 2011 New Speak Up 2011 Questions: Administrators How does your district's overall budget for education technology initiatives and projects compare this year with your budget in the 2008/2009 school year? If your ed tech budget is less than desirable this year, how are you dealing with that situation? Which if any of these technology solutions are you considering for your district to at least partially help your budget situation? Increasingly administrators are being asked to justify their technology investments. Which of these outcomes have proven to be good justifications for technology investments in your district?
  51. 51. © Project Tomorrow 2011 Let’s Talk ROI & VOI Your thoughts and comments! Julie Evans Chief Executive Officer Project Tomorrow jevans@tomorrow.org www.tomorrow.org Twitter: JulieEvans_PT

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