This article proposes a framework that can help institutions break down and analyze the costs of online learning so they can make decisions about how to improve the cost-efficiencies of online education. The framework involves looking at costs across elements (which include the two stages of development and delivery plus administration of the enterprise) and seven factors: students, faculty, other staff, course design, content, infrastructure, and policy. The elements and factors may combine and interact, thereby improving (or not improving) cost-efficiencies. Where possible, current research results are included and areas where research is needed are identified.
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