Costs of E-Learning Support: An Investigation Across 139 Small Projects

Paul Lam, Josephine Csete, Carmel Mcnaught

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Understanding the costing of e-learning informs decision-making on how to support the development and implementation of teaching and learning technologies in higher education. This paper describes costings and processes in a central e-learning support service that is especially applicable to face-to-face universities that use e-learning in a blended or supplemental mode. We differentiate three types of costs: infrastructure costs that are less sensitive to variation in the complexity of e-learning strategies, and edevelopment and e-delivery costs that are directly related to the nature of the strategies used. Using actual data from a three-year e-learning support project (e3Learning) with 139 sub-projects, the paper illustrates how the calculations promote an understanding of e-learning in the following four dimensions: 1) total cost of running an e-learning support service, 2) individual costs attributable to each of the sub-projects, 3) ‘price-tags’ of e-learning strategies, and 4) initial exploration of the cost-effectiveness issue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-75
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of E-Adoption
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Centralized Services
  • Cost-Effectiveness
  • E-Delivery Costs
  • E-Development Costs
  • E-Learning Costs
  • Infrastructure Costs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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