Image reads Cost-Effectiveness. Four coloured dots reflecting the Matic Media logo feature, with three dots in red, yellow and green on the left side; a light green dot over the C and an orange dot taking the place of the dot on-top of the letter i in effectiveness.

This page is the repository for the documents produced from the work Paul Bacsich and colleagues carried out on Costs of Networked Learning and related projects.

Documents are in PDF format and will open in a new window.

CCAM phase (EU-funded)

This work was funded by the European Commission under the CCAM Procedure. It was carried out in 1992-1993 under EADTU auspices by the UK Open University and the National Distance Education Centre (OSCAIL), Ireland (now fully part of Dublin City University).

  1.  Telematic Networks for Open and Distance Learning in the Tertiary Sector – Final Report, Volume 1: Scenarios, Costings and Survey
  2. Telematic Networks for Open and Distance Learning in the Tertiary Sector – Final Report, Volume 2: Rationale and Work Programme

Costs of Networked learning (UK-funded)

This work was funded by JISC (UK) in the period 1999-2001.


The following papers are the project deliverables from the two phases of the Costs of Networked Learning (CNL) project, often called The Hidden Costs of Networked Learning:

  1. The Costs of Networked Learning (Phase One): Final Report
  2. The Costs of Networked Learning (Phase Two): Final Report
  3. The Costs of Networked Learning (Phase Two): Handbook Guidelines and Resources for Costing Courses using Activity Based Costing
  4. CN2 Overview: The Trial of Activity-Based Costing at Sheffield Hallam University

Associated papers

  1. Costing the Lifecycle of Networked Learning: Documenting the Costs from Conception to Evaluation (ALT-C, September 1999)
  2. The Hidden Costs of Networked Learning: The Consequences for University Administrators (International Meeting of University Administrators (IMUA), September 1999)
  3. Planning and Costing Virtual Universities (Euro-Med, Open University of Israel, October 1999)
  4. Weighing Air: Measuring the Costs of Learning Technology in the UK (Western Co-operative for Educational Telecommunications 11th Annual Meeting (WCET),  November 1999, Portland, Oregon;  and at TeleLearning Network of Centres of Excellence (NCE ’99) conference; November 1999, Montreal, Canada)
  5. UK Higher Education Institutions: How Flexible, How Virtual, How Soon? (Online Educa, November 1999, Berlin)
  6. The Hidden Costs of Networked Learning: The Impact of a Costing Framework on Educational Practice (Ascilite, December 1999)
  7. A New Cost Analysis Model for Networked Learning (EDEN, March 2000)
  8. The Costs of Networked Learning: An interactive workshop (Networked Learning, April 2000, Lancaster)

This list does not include many PowerPoint presentations delivered in the 1999-2015 era and still available on the web.

JISC follow-up work

During academic year 2007-08, the JLT subcommittee of JISC commissioned a small project to explore the state of play of Tangible Benefits of e-Learning at an institutional level. Following this up JISC commissioned Paul Bacsich to produce a discussion paper for  on areas for future funding that would build on the Tangible Benefits of e-Learning work, based on a review of current resources and consideration of the JLT and JISC remits.

  • Time and e-learning, 2012
    • full title: The cost- and time-effectiveness of online learning: providing a perspective on Microlearning and the differences between academic and corporate views
    • also available on

This led on to further analyses of virtual universities such as the paper Impact of e-Learning in the Twenty-first Century University, published as Chapter 9 of International Perspectives on Higher Education; Challenging Values and Practice (editor: Trevor Kerry)

This is also relevant for business models of accredited higher online education.