Determining the Level of Blended e-Learning Using a Cost Optimization Model

At a time when e-learning is increasingly being employed as an educational alternative to traditional face-to-face learning, there is evidence that the preferable educational mode may actually be blended learning, which is a combination of e-learning and face-to-face learning. To date, little research appears to have been done on the costs incurred by an educational program that is transitioning from a wholly traditional system to one that may include both e-learning and face-to-face classes. This paper presents a cost minimization model for adjusting the mixture of e-learning and face-to-face learning in a university program moving from a wholly traditional to a blended-learning model. Given several basic assumptions, we derive a model for the distribution of face-to-face and e-learning that minimizes the total cost for both students and the institution. We present an application of the model and draw conclusions.

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