11.0658 the cost of it all

Humanist Discussion Group (humanist@kcl.ac.uk)
Sun, 22 Mar 1998 19:28:49 +0000 (GMT)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 11, No. 658.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

Date: Fri, 20 Mar 1998 14:52:25 -0500 (EST)
From: Francois Lachance <lachance@chass.utoronto.ca>
Subject: Costing Redevelopment


This may be of interest to some of the readers of Humanist, especially
those caught up in the joys of spring time budget processes.

Mary McGugan
in the March 1998 issue of Technology in Government
about St. Francis Xaviers initiative WEBf/x

St. Francis Xavier lacks a clearly enunciated implementation strategy
and the detailed costing analysis that comes from it. That omission
may have the university floundering in needless debt, according to a
1995 study commissioned by the Information Highway Advisory Council

"One of the thins that has got to be front and centre when educational
institutions make decisions about technology acquisitions is a very
clear definition of what the anticipated benefits are going to be and
what the costs are going to be." says Wendy Cukier, author of the
Information Highway Advisory Council study and a professor at Ryersopn
University in Toronto. "That assessment is often not done."

Institutions end up buying a beautifully marketed solution at an
incentive price without properly examining alternatives and without
conducting any in-depth business case analysis where objectives and
[measurable] outcomes are clearly defined, says Cukier. She adds that
course redevelopment --- "to do it right" --- can typically cost
$50,000 or more per course. At that price [St. Xavier's] fund would
only be enough to redevelop ten courses.

[I don't know if McGugan has or plans to report on other initiatives
at the same institution or in the same region. One cannot help
wondering that at a systemic level, the price of "failures" is part of
the cost of learning, especially when the title of McGugan's piece is
"Teachers become technology students at St. Francis Xavier University"]

[Any one else have reports on programs for massive faculty skill


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