Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Curriculum and Instruction


Today, the technical capabilities exist for all schools to provide effective distance education opportunities. While the technologies do offer solutions to enable school districts to improve their curricula and learning experiences, they also create new problems. They are expensive and complicated. There are a growing number of efforts to make telecommunication infrastructure and information resources available; however, access to telecommunication resources varies considerably in different locations (U. S. Congress, 1989). There can be large differences in estimated costs and actual expenditures (Feasley, 1982). There are price and quality variances (Eicher, 1987). It is difficult to analyze and compare costs because of the differing variables among the technologies. Currently there is not a large body of valid data concerning the costs of various systems (Jefferson & Moore, 1990). One major question asked by administrators, school boards, and policymakers is, How much does distance education cost? Distance education systems involve cost commitments that are not easily modified. The purchases must be used for a number of years. Those responsible for making these large capital investments should have reliable evaluation data available to make sensible decisions. There are few studies that specify detailed costs for the three transmission methods. Current cost studies are general in nature. These studies do not specifically compare transmission costs by specific distances. Few studies compare compressed and full motion video costs. There is abundant technical information regarding the specific technologies, but it is not written in the context of distance education. It is difficult to find in one location, complete, nontechnical information listing major cost variables affecting each transmission system and classroom equipment. Educators desiring to execute distance education systems in Iowa are unfamiliar with sources to aid in planning. Educators lack information on expert sources to supply cost and installation details. A study detailing specific variables contributing to the total costs of creating a distance education system would be helpful to distance educator planners.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Judy Irene Book Jones



File Format


File Size

201 pages