|Distance Education in Engineering for Developing Countries - Education Research Paper No. 13 (DFID, 1995, 102 p.)|
|Section 7: Cost-effectiveness|
One of the reasons why it is difficult to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of engineering distance education training is the absence of a realistic benchmark measurement. Within companies indicators such as reductions in down-time, wastage and absenteeism are used, as are increased quality and productivity. However, it is difficult to attribute these benefits directly to training, since the process implies many assumptions and also requires long-term measurement.
Very few organisations appear to have carried out such a survey, with the exception of some UK academic institutions including the Cleveland Open Learning Unit (COLU), the OU and the Open College which have measured some outcomes of courses. COLU in particular was able to attribute significant improvements in the areas mentioned above to their training programme.
However no work has been identified which has undertaken a longitudinal study of the effectiveness of engineering distance education, and little, if any, work comparing the cost-effectiveness of distance as opposed to conventional learning in relation to improved work performance.