CFOS/Efficiency and Effectiveness of ODL/Exercise 9.4

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<Return to Unit 9

Exercise 9.4: Cost-Effectiveness Ratio

This activity is based on the same case study as used in Exercise 9.2, which focused on the Certificate in Cost Accounting programme offered by a community college in Canada. Students registering for this programme can choose to study through either conventional, face-to-face classes or paper-based distance education materials. The data for 2004 on total student enrolments, total graduates and total costs for both modes of this programme are reproduced below for ease of reference:

Programme Delivery Mode Total Student Enrolments Total Graduates Success Rate (percent) Total Costs (Cdn.$) Average Costs per Student (Cdn.$) Average Cost per Graduate (Cdn.$)
Cert in Cost Accounting ODL 131 43 34,977
Cert in Cost Accounting Conventional 954 886 712,433
Programme as a Whole Combined 1,085 929 747,410

  • Now calculate the Success Rate and the Average Cost per Graduate for the different modes and write them down on a piece of scratch paper.

Equation for Average Cost per Graduate:

ACg = TC ÷ TNg


ACg = average cost per graduate
TC = total costs for programme or institution as a whole
TNg = total number of graduates

  • Once you have finished the above, calculate the Cost-Effectiveness Ratio for the two modes of the Certificate in Cost Accounting Programme.

Equation for Cost-Effectiveness Ratio



CER = cost-effectiveness ratio
ACGODL = average cost per graduate of ODL programme/institution
ACGC = average cost per graduate of conventional programme/institution

  • In this case study, what factors have contributed to the relatively poor cost-effectiveness of the ODL mode of delivery?

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