Teaching online costs less than traditional face-to-face
The truth of this argument depends
on how the costs are determined. Often, only direct costs such as faculty
salaries and hardware are considered when determining the cost of an online
program. There are also indirect costs to the institution that are not considered
in the bottom line. Those include faculty release time and stipends for
developing online courses, advertising, and faculty development. Faculty
development costs include the salaries of designers and trainers, and training
equipment and software.
Some institutions are hiring adjunct
faculty members to teach some sections of their online courses. Adjuncts
are often paid less in actual salary, and they do not receive the same benefits
as full time tenure-track faculty. Adjunct faculty teaching online courses
can work from home, which is attractive to many. They can also teach for
more than one institution and never, or rarely drive to a campus. There
may be many adjunct faculty who find teaching online much more satisfying
than teaching face to face because the need for driving to campus is minimized.
An institution's goal of saving or
making money should always be less important than providing a quality educational
experience to students. A more important consideration than cost savings
is ensuring that students enrolled in online courses receive the same quality
education as those enrolled in traditional on-campus face-to-face courses.