When financial elements of the business plan are considered there are three essential elements to consider. Cost,. Revenue, and Growth. As part of this Distance Learning Program as submt to you the financials outlining the funding that will be needed to finance the program over the next three to five years.
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An efficient system is most appropriate for strengthening the online learning infrastructure. The development team must have the technology needed to support the principles and goals. In developing an infrastructure that supports excellence in online learning, the issues to be addressed are: a clear understanding of the goals of the curriculum and of the characteristics and needs of the intended students; and a healthy working environment, with committed staff, where implementation can proceed, and where constant change is understood to be the norm (Anderson & Elloumi, 2004). Creating a stable and reliable technical infrastructure is also essential as it influences learning student satisfaction, and student retention (Simonson et al 2009). Choosing the correct technology is an essential element for the success of the distance education program at ACC. Most online colleges and universities use Learning Management Systems or Course Management Systems for administration and management of distance learning. Proficient users are able to manage student enrollment, track student performance, create and distribute course content. Instructors will also have the ability to manage their classes, assignments, activities, quizzes, and test resources in an accessible online environment (Simonson et al, 2009). Because of the multiple features provided and its diverse functionality it is an essential tool for distance educators and the most important technological tool currently available for education and training. All intended users must understand how the LMS links to the services and other components of the distance learning program. Learners technology ability should be efficient enough to accomplish the learning outcomes, which is another major determinant in the selection of an efficient LMS. The LMS interfaces with the library and other digital resources, services, and the student information system via a secure server that can authenticate the login. A portal is needed to connect to the LMS and other services for view websites and web pages.
Based on a comparative analysis of the most common CMS (Blackboard, WebCt, Moodle), the most efficient systems will be either Blackboard or WebCT. Using the evaluation criteria of cost, complexity, control, clarity, common technical framework and features the research indicates that the two major course delivery systems commonly used in online education are Blackboard and WebCT(2004).The recent merge of Blackboard and WebCT eliminated the WebCT course delivery platform and now Blackboard is recognized as the most efficient delivery platform. Users are priviledge with the ability to create, import and export content throughout the entire owning organization providedby the Core Content Repository. (rewrite) The Repository contains the following components: Virtual Hard Drive, Learning Content Management, e-Portfolios, and Library Digital Asset Management (Blackboard, 2004). The Content System contains a Learning Objects Catalog, such as pictures, Flash movies, and PowerPoint presentations that can be shared among different classes. The use of the Blackboard Content System includes an additional cost of approximately $35,000 a year, however; thus elevating the overall costs of using the product.
Most college level courses are 3 credits which consist of 12 to 15 modules. Each module is usually 1 week of instruction with 3 hours of content presentation, requiring 2 hours of outside classroom studying from students (p. 338). Content consist of lectures, videos, audios, presentations, and other learning experiences collected by the instructor. The UMT approach can also be used to meet time standard involved in 3 credit college courses (p. 158). E-LEARNING INSTRUCTIONAL MODEL. - model is supported by the eclectic combination of the learning theories ( behavorism, cognitivism, constructivism) and is based on the concept of the learning objective, composed of learning objects.. This instructional model applies the systematic development of instruction and learning and is composed of five phases: A distance learning program design and structure is three-fold, in addition to a practical approaches to organizational structure there should also exist best practices and model approaches in course development and instructional design. Having outlined the practical aspects and major difference in the approaches to organizational structure, I proposed that administrators of our program “seek an appropriate structure that closely aligns online education with the institutional mission (Shelton & Saltsman, 2005). Bear in mind that our mission is to increase the colleges access to the world electronically by offering accessible tools and technology based on most recent research and development of e-Learning environments and emerging technologies, and hire the best leaders to manage and coordinate learning activities that will attract and retain the best and the brightest students. This is a process that will require constant change and development of new programs. Our program will also become stronger if we adhere to Shelton & Saltsman's recommendations of maintaining a flat structure, “meaning that the organization should stay responsive to the stakeholders and should be agile and responsive to innovation”. Most college level courses are 3 credits which consist of 12 to 15 modules. Each module is usually 1 week of instruction with 3 hours of content presentation, requiring 2 hours of outside classroom studying from students (p. 338). Content consist of lectures, videos, audios, presentations, and other learning experiences collected by the instructor. The UMT approach can also be used to meet time standard involved in 3 credit college courses (p. 158). Using the UMT approach the distance learning program at ACC will consist of 15 ?? courses per semester, with enrollments of “low student/faculty ratios and small class sizes. “The low student/faculty ratio and class sizes that average 13 students facilitate active learning and collaboration, encourage time-on-task, and foster high student-faculty interaction” (Swenson 2001, p. 5). 750 to 1500 students per year over a five year period. Replication or use of models such as E-CAD (Enhanced Curriculum Delivery Model) allows instructors to handle larger class sizes of approximately 20 students.
Other resources and equipment such as authoring tools, software applications, computers, mobile learning devices, and videos, are also necessary for student- teacher interaction, faculty- adminstrator interaction, access to courses and acess to additional training and support. Online learning materials are creating using authoring tools such as Adobe Photoshop, Macromedia Flash, and Microsoft PowerPoint. They have been specifically designed for creating online education and higher education courses. There are numerous websites that host learning objects and materials for online education, and I like to recommend the following as starters for new developers and instructional designers. For learning object authoring tools Elluminate Live ( http:// www.elluminate.com ), Impactica for PowerPoint, Impatica OnCue ( http:// www.impatica.com ), Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT), http:// www.merlot.org ., and Learning about Learning Objects ( http://www.learning-objects.net/modules.php?name = Web_Links ). The authoring system should be SCORM compatible and utilize Learning Design principles to provide the means for designing activity-based learning systems. There should also be a means for designing pedagogical scenarios that can be reused in different contexts and across different web-based educational platforms ( ). However, this system is limited only to content interoperability, rather than providing a broader scope of learning activities between different learning systems. Pedagogical approaches in constructive and collaborative learning should also exist. Learning object standards should be in compliance with IMS(Instructional Management Systems), which supports the adoption and use of technology in education and SCORM (Shareable Courseware Object Reference Model). This model defines “the interoperability of course components, data models and protocols so that learning objects are sharable across systems that conform with the same model” (Shelton & Saltsman, p. 132). Both of these standards should be taken into consideration when seeking to purchase or develop online learning materials.
All distance education programs should be built upon an Instructional Design model. The E-LEARNING INSTRUCTIONAL MODEL of ( ) closely replicates the standard Instructional Design Model of Seels and Glasgow (1998). The ADDIE processes (Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, and Evaluate) are the same as the modern phases of development defined in the E-Learning Instructional Model, which is supported by “an eclectic combination of the learning theories ( behavorism, cognitivism, constructivism) and is based on the concept of the learning objective, composed of learning objects” ( ). This instructional model applies the systematic development of instruction and learning and is composed of five phases: Analysis, Design, Implementation Execution, Evaluation. “The proposed model maps constructivist principles to the instructional design by means of a more pragmatic approach that focuses on the principles of moderate constructivism (Karagiorgi & Symeou, 2005), making use of emergent technology tools” ( ).To assist instructional designers with using this model An Instruction Aid System (IAS) has been implemented as a tool for guiding instructors through the construction of the E- Learning Instructional Model. Because of the close relationship with the instructional design model of Seels and Glasgow (1998), it is my recommendation that the instructional design team follow this model because it promotes the use of learning prinicples in conjunction with emerging technologies. Noting the common features of all Instructional Design Models an efficient and effective distance learning program cannot exist without being developed with the use of a practical instructional design model. Though names may change due to creativity, innovation, and technology influences the distance learning program stands upon the sound principles of ADDIE and the E-Learning Instructional Model.
SUMMARY TOTALS OF REVENUE AND EXPENSES OVER A FOUR PERIOD
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DISTANCE LEARNING BUSINESS PLAN Anytown Community College Charlotte Foster Capella University email@example.com ED7212-Administration & Leadership of Distance Education Programs Instructor-Mac Adkin
Executive Summary Dr. Joe Henderson-President Anytown Community College Smalltown, GA 30009 Dear Dr. Henderson. It has been a pleasure to work on the distance learning initiatives at Anytown Community College (ACC). This business plan will provide you with realist and most important issues of investing into a Distance Education Program here at ACC. In addition to promoting the best educational benefits of the Distance Education Program, the business plan shall address the financial ramifications, describe the decision making process and other operational procedures of the program. Included in the business plan for ACC are the services to be offered, funding needs for the phases of design, development, and dissemination, issues regarding infrastructure, marketing, recruitment, admissions, assessments, library and support (Shelton & Saltsman, 2005). The successful organizational transformation will require leaders with esceptional competencies in organizational management with the ability to lead with a vision. Many distance education leaders perform managerial roles that require controlling cost and revenue, recruiting and maintaining a more divers student body, while promoting a program of instruction that is more engaging and satisfying for learners. It is this strategy that will bring ACC to being acknowledged as a replicable institution with an accredited online degree program for working adults within the next three to five years. Implementation will require strategic management of processes that will guide the leaders of this program into successful transformation. The most important step is to show how changing to online courses are connected to the mission of the organization by utilizing educational activities and providing cost savings mechanisms. Managers who are in charfe of major milestones of the program will strive to show instructors and trainers the advantages of short-term strategic processes and how they aid in reaching long term goals.
TECHNOLOGY Technology is critical to the success of the current online program that is in the making involving the distance education team, instructional design team, and the IT team. With joint efforts of these teams we have began the construction of an online curriculum that will enable our students to perform at immaculate skill levels and acquire knowledge that is sufficient for performing in real work environments. An important element to the success of this online course curriculum is technology which drives the functionality and usability of the program. Considering the special characteristics of the courses involved in the distance learning program, the best learning management system should be one that provides “multiple functions of teaching and learning support, facilitate group work, encourage exchanges of ideas, deliver comprehensive learning materials and give extensive guidance to students as well as to allow greater flexibility in designing the curriculum and study schedules and assessing students’ performance” (Simonson et al 2009). A complete package will consist of an efficient LMS/CMS, access to training and support resources and equipment for both the student and the teacher. To cover this expense funding will be provided from the revenue of tuition and fees received from the students.
Cost & Budgeting To expand learning opportunities through distance learning initiatives at ACC the college needs adequate resources for growth, development and maturity. The online program will be integrated into the college budgeting system, therefore the overall business plan and policies will demonstrate an institutional commitment to the online program and its success. Careful consideration has been given to how the online program will impact the overall budget, funding of the program, and how the financial information is communicated to the students.
Program Design and Structure A thorough understanding of the college’s core business values, the nature of the intended student market, and the needs of the curriculum are key elements for the programs success. A set of guidelines are also needed for creating well-designed courses that are of high quality. The success of this development process also depends upon understanding the values and mission of the college as well as assessing the needs of the intended audience. The four major guidelines to course design are: – 1. Organization Guidelines- Unit Model Topic Approach(UMT). 3 credit courses with 12 to 15 modules. 1 week of instruction requires 2 hours of classroom studying from the student. Content is provided by the instructor in lectures, videos, audios, presentations, and other learning experiences. – 2. Assessment Gudilines-Evaluations provide information for continuous improvement in the courses. Learning outcomes are measured through examinations, papers, projects, quizzes, assignments, and graded discussions are common assessment types. – 3. Content Guidelines- the use of various forms of visual media such as (audio/video presentations, and graphical representations of topics helps instructors with well-designed high quality courses. – 4. Teaching Guidelines- the recommended pace of instruction and course accommodation for instructor-student interaction action is a weekly module, synchronous chats, 2 or 3 threaded discussions, and instructor emails to students.
Mission The department of Distance Learning at ACC provides the core support needed to administer distance learning activities throughout the college. All department heads, faculty leaders, and academic staff will commit to working collaboratively to attract and retain a population of the brightest and most intelligent students while adhering to the core values and mission of the college.
Our Mission is to: Increase the colleges access to the world electronically by offering accessible tools and technology based on the most recent research and development of e-Learning environments and emerging technologies. The learning environments will prepare students for sharing the practical applications of knowledge and expertise needed to perform in today’s society. Provide open learning environments for teaching and learning that are asynchronous/synchronous; allowing for participation anytime and in any place.
Visionary Approach The future of distance education at ACC depends upon leaders with competencies in “knowing, designing, leading and managing” (Simonson et al 2009). In order for ACC to become a replicable institution with an accredited online degree program for working adults new learning environments must exist for transfer of new knowledge on a global level. To support this vision the Distance Learning Program will: – Operate as an educational organization that encourages innovation and recognizes excellence. – Provide leadership teams with the knowledge and expertise needed to deliver the distance learning program. – Utilize best practices to promote a learner-centered approach to distance education preparing students with practical applications of knowledge necessary for performing in a global culturally diverse society. – Off quality distance learning courses that meet new learning requirements and expectations,. – Continue to provide accessible resources and support services for faculty, students, and staff. – Develop an outreach program supporting teaching and research.
COST CALCULATIONShttp://www.marshall.edu/distancelearning.pdfNumber of Students Currently Enrolled 5000Number of New Online Courses 12Course Developer Compensation $3500Tuition Rate $450Technology Fee $60Instructional Technology Support $2500Expected # of Students in each course 20Server to Host Course 2000Expected Growth Rate 30 %
Strengths and Benefits Identifying the needs of both internal and external audiences is essential for identifying the key segments throughout the college where the online program will have the greatest potential. This also helps to define the resources that must be allocated to support the distance education program. Based on information collected from students, faculty, administration, department staff, and the community the following issues must be addressed in order for the program to make an significant impact on the educational needs of the students. – ?????
BEST ESTIMATE METHOD The Best Estimate Method is…. It is another approach that can be used to estimate cost which is easier to understand.Overload to Instructor $3,500.00Course Design (ID), Subject Matter (SME) ~ $12,000.00200 hours@ $60/hoursProduction Costs: 200 hrs@ $40/hour $8,000.00Production Materials $1,000.00Indirect Costs: ~40%=$9,800 $9,800.00Total Best Estimate for 12 Module, 3 Credit Course = $34,300 x12Course
FINANCIAL PLAN AND BUDGET Organizational Cost – Funding Sources Tuition/Fees- $96,034/05 Grants For Higher Education Grants for Emerging Technologies
HUMAN RESOURCESAssociate Instructor-InterimFaculty ChairDean of Distance LearningInstructorsTraining & Support StaffIT StaffInstructional DesignerVisual DesignerContent ExpertsProgrammersMultimedia Designer
BUSINESS PLAN SUMMARY Year 0 Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4ACTIVITYNo. of Courses 12 4 5 6 8offerNo. of 0 480 640 840 1080EnrollmentsINCOMETuition $0.00 $648,000 $864,000 $1,134,000 $1,458,000RevenueTechnology $0.00 $86,400 $115,200 $151,200 $194,400RevenueTOTAL $0.00 $734,400 $979,200 $1,285,200 $1,652,400INCOMETOTAL COST $96,034.05 $143,724.22 $177,644.46 $218,815.89 $272,820.67NET INCOME -$96,034.05 $590,675.78 $801,555.54 $$1,066,384.11 $1,379,579.33
Learning Management Systems Learning Management Systems are Internet-based software systems designed to assist in the management and administration of educational courses. Proficient users are able to manage student enrollment, track student performance, create and distribute course content. Instructors will also have the ability to manage their classes, assignments, activities, quizzes, and test resources in an accessible online environment. The basic components of a Learning System will consist of Learner, Subject Content, Technology, and Pedagogy, but the true system will be embedded with more functions and features, designed for integrating into a Student Information System. Learning System Pedagogy Learner Subject Content Technology
PROGRAM GOALS Start a distance learning program to expand the accessibility of what the college currently offers working adults To select an efficient CMS that compliments campus-based courses. Effectively integrate a Course Management System into academic practices.
LEARNING OUTCOMES Learning outcomes are the results of the established goals listed in the program. They are:(find a definition) – Translated into course content – Resources used in approaches to teaching and learning process that enable the student to achieve the outcome.
BLACKBOARD Blackboard is recognized as the most efficient delivery platform. Content is provide through a cartridge method. Key code is provided to the student for downloading cartridge content. StartupCost -$30,000 Operations - $10,000 Content System - $35,000
Program Objectives To help improve the quality of instruction and provide new learning opportunities for working adult learners. To increase the relevance, scope and efficacy of learners educational experience by integrating a CMS into academic practices. To provide creative content, services, pedagogies and practices that support the development of ICT. To ensure the availability of good open educational practices through self-assessment and peer review.
LEARNING OBJECTS Learningobjects are digital resources that can be reused to support learning in online education. They tend to work well at enhancing learning outcomes when combined with other learning activities and learning materials. Technology tools are needed to create learning objects and learning materials.
E-Learning Instructional Model FIVE PHASES OF E-LEARNING MODEL – Analysis – Design – Implementation – Execution – Evaluation
PROGRAM DESCRIPTION Instructional Technology Instructional Design The final phase of the project will involve undergraduate and graduate degree plans in business and IT programs. This will consist of the remaining 9 courses.
REVENUE & EXPENSES Year 1 YEAR 2 YEAR 3 YEAR 4Total Revenue $734,400.00 $979,200.00 $1,285,200.00 $1,652,400.00Total Expenses $146,154.25 $180,885.42 $223,069.64 $278,290.79NET iNCOME $588,245.75 $798,314.58 $1,062,130.36 $1,374,109.21
REVENUE & EXPENSE CHART PROGRAM REVENUE OVER 4 YEARS PERIOD BASED ON STUDENT ENROLLMENTS $1,800,000.00 $1,600,000.00 $1,400,000.00 $1,200,000.00 $1,000,000.00 $800,000.00 $600,000.00 $400,000.00 $200,000.00 $0.00 1 2 3 4