We are working on a course that may have more than one delivery mode. We're considering having these two delivery modes:
1) Distance learning course.
2) Traditional classroom course.
As for instructional materials, we are leaning towards producing a paper-based set of course notes and an accompanying set of multi-media CDs with video, audio, and other multimedia. The course notes would refer to the CD at appropriate times in the contents.
For the Distance course, we'd like to have a student to instructor ratio of 100:1. Whereas in the classroom course, we would like to have a 30:2 student ratio. In effect this means the classroom course is approximately six times more expensive to run than the distance course. The instructor salary is the major cost.
One possible solution for cutting down the cost of the onsite course is to distribute no material to the students. No course notes and no accompanying multimedia CD. Therefore, the in-class students would have only the instructor's "song and dance" delivered in the lecture as resources.
I'm beginning to wonder about the ethical nature of this possible cost cutting measure. We are deliberately holding back existing resources (course notes and CDs) from in-class students due to cost. Is this cost cutting measure putting the in-class students at a disadvantage? Does the fact that the in-class students have a higher instructor to student ratio compensate for this potential disadvantage? Does the fact that all students, regardless of delivery mode,will write the exact same final exam affect the conclusions in the above two questions?
Comments are welcome!!!