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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Does Technology Lower the Cost of Education Without Diminishing Quality? A Financial Modeling Approach to Flipping the Classroom
by Eberhart, Allan Charles, Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2020, 212; 28001372
Abstract (Summary)

Colleges and universities are rapidly expanding their use of technology to flip courses, where at least some of the material delivered synchronously in a traditional class is converted to asynchronous material (e.g., recorded videos) the students learn from online in lieu of attending class. Flipped courses offer the potential to improve the quality of education and lower the cost of delivering it. However, the question of whether flipped courses are fulfilling this potential remains unanswered. I address this gap in the literature by developing a model that compares the cost of a flipped course to its traditional version. The model solves the problem of comparing the uneven cost structure of a flipped course, with its large upfront investment in asynchronous material followed by lower subsequent costs because of the reduction in synchronous sessions, to its traditional version, with its relatively constant cost per offering. With this model, a new pooled cross-section database consisting of 2,060 students enrolled in seven cohorts over a six-year period, a new longitudinal dataset consisting of 147 students, and the application of rigorous educational-quality metrics, including labor market outcomes, I test the hypothesis of whether technology lowers the cost of education without diminishing quality. I report consistent evidence of a significant decrease in the cost of developing and delivering a flipped course relative to its traditional version without a reduction in quality. I also show the circumstances under which a flipped course can be more expensive than its traditional version, and demonstrate how the model can be a practical tool for deciding when it makes sense to invest in technology and how to do so.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Garland, Peter L.
Commitee: Finney, Joni, Presley, Jason
School: University of Pennsylvania
Department: Higher Education Management
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 82/3(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Higher education, Education finance, Educational technology
Keywords: Financial modeling, Flipped classroom
Publication Number: 28001372
ISBN: 9798664793048
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