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Seb Anthony

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Cost Comparisons of Traditional & Open Learning


I have set up a small learning resource centre and am now trying to expand it to the larger organisation. Inevitably I'm writing the business case and one critical set of facts I don't have is the cost of providing open learning opportunities against the cost of providing more traditional trainer led solutions.

Our learning resource centre uses existing eLearning opportunities provided by HR but also stocks books, video and audio resources (Got to cover ALL the learning styles after all!).

Any help you wonderful people can provide would be gratefully received.


Frank McGoldrick

5 Responses

  1. Possible Info source

    The CIPD web site has the info you are looking for if you are a member.

  2. Information request
    Hi Frank – As I deliver a Level 4 BTEC qualification for staff setting up and managing learning centres, my unit on the Business Case may be useful. Supply me with your email and I will forward you some information which may help.

  3. Full Cost Comparison
    The cost of a traditional instructor-led course can be broken down (in simple terms) to course costs, participant time [salary value] and T&E.

    For learning centre materials, T&E may be lower, course costs should also be much lower, being a proportion of the cost of the item borrowed/studied and participant time could be lower depending on the resource used.

    So armed with this data, you should be able to establish some basic comparisons.

    Remember though to highlight any qualitative comparisons too, as it’s not just about cost.

    I have used this approach in the past to also set a target utilisation level for items in a learning centre, failure to meet which would have meant the money would have been better spent on ILT equivalents.

  4. Costs e v trad
    Sorry to be a sourpuss, but quoting costs only means nothing. If you can do it, assess also the value i.e the larning of each. Simplest comparison is to assess keenly the learning needs objectives – which meets these best. Then you can compare this with the costs. But it ain’t easy! Be careful, some people say it is and is possible in every case – nope!


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