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I am being asked to help develop pricing for a self-paced course that is to be delivered to a corporation’s executive team.  The technology costs will only be a fraction of the total as the IP is clearly what we are “selling”.


Some of the “costs” that come to my mind from the technology side are:

1.       Cost for using the LMS

2.       Course development time (instructional designer)

3.       Cost of the tools to develop the materials (e.g. articulate)


Have any of you come up with a list of these costs?  What am I missing?  Is there a specific formula that you use to get at the costs behind developing an online self-paced course?


Any advice is greatly appreciated.





Paul Fisher

Associate CIO

Director, Teaching, Learning & Technology Center

Seton Hall University




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Paul, I am not sure of how the course(s) will be delivered but you might need to consider development time. For example, how are student's enrolling? Are they self enrolling? Do you have a system that allows for the administration of new/existing users? We have a variety of self-paced programs: in some, enrollment is pushed to us from an external enrollment management systems/processes (your campus SIS, or an external provider like Augusoft, Ungerboeck) and others are set up to allow any user to self enroll (sign up right in the LMS). The main difference is due to whether or not there is a admissions requirements and costs. Inevitably, we incur costs to integrate with these third party systems. This leads to another development issue. Who is managing the payments (if there are any)? If a student pays for access through another department (Continuing Education) then all you may need to do is integrate (batch, schedule, broker) with their enrollment system. If they expect your department to create/administer/manage that process (collecting payment) then you might have a few new costs for an e-payment system (including transaction costs), the integration and administration. How about help desk support? Will these folks be able to call your institution's support line (whether local or through a 24/7 external provider)? You might also want to include overhead around operations, i.e. billing, office staffing, maintenance, upgrades (infrastructure), bandwidth, data, archiving (will you be storing/backing up courses), etc. We do not have a specific formula, because we have yet to find two programs interested in the same services. We generally start with an SLA and then cost that level of service out. Hope this helps, Patrick || |||| ||| || | | || ||| || ||| || | | ||| || ||| || Patrick Masson Chief Technology Officer, UMassOnline The University of Massachusetts, Office of the President 333 South St., Suite 400, Shrewsbury, MA 01545 (774) 455-7615: Office (774) 455-7620: Fax (970) 4MASSON: GoogleVoice UMOLPatMasson: AIM massonpj: Skype Web Site: Blog: ________________________________________