Calculating Value of Investment on an Educational Technology Initiative

ID: 32115 Type: Roundtable
  1. Robert Hancock, Becky Parton, and Elizabeth Rhodes, Southeastern Louisiana University, United States

Thursday, March 10 1:30 PM-2:30 PM Location: Bellmeade

No presider for this session.

Abstract: K-12 technology leaders are under increasing pressure to justify current and proposed technology expenditures. Value of Investment (VOI) is a CoSN project to help schools to better understand the costs and benefits of proposed technology related projects. This workshop will train users to utilize the COSN VOI system.


The objective of this workshop is to enable the participant to conduct a COSN VOI analysis for an educational technology initiative. Participants can use this methodology to remove a lot of the subjectivity in the decision making process as to what type of technologies to implement. This methodology is very valuable to technology directors, administrators and professor teaching courses for technology oversight and management.

Topical Outline

VOI Methodology and Tools The steps to follow when performing a Value of Investment assessment for a proposed project follow in the order they will be presented: Estimate Project Costs (Project TCO) Use the Project Cost Estimator to help you to identify and summarize all of these costs. An Excel version of the Project Cost Estimator is also available for you to download. Calculate Anticipated Savings and Revenues Most projects, even those focused on qualitative benefits such as student achievement, have some cost savings such as lower out-of-pocket costs, better efficiencies, user productivity or future cost avoidance. There may also be some anticipated increase of revenues based on higher attendance, grants or state/federal aid. The Project Cost Estimator allows you to identify and apply infrastructure and support savings to the project cost, and the VOI Project Benefits Worksheet will help you to identify other dollar savings and user productivity enhancements and apply them as benefits. Measure (Score) “Qualitative” Benefits Learn to use the VOI Project Benefits worksheet to help you to identify and apply these qualitative benefits. Assess Risk Risk, as used for the purposes of VOI calculations, is more appropriately viewed as the probability of success for the proposed project. Probability of success is most appropriately applied to the valuation of the expected benefits of the project (Note that probability of success could also be applied against cost to create a risk-weighted cost). Although actual benefits if realized aren’t lowered by a lower probability of success, this factor must be considered when determining whether a project is worth doing, or which project competing for the same funds makes most sense to pursue. Evaluate Results Since the anticipated costs and benefits were stated in measurable terms, the actual results can be measured: Actual costs versus anticipated costs Actual savings or revenues versus anticipated savings revenue Actual measurable benefits versus anticipated benefits

Experience Level



Dr. Robert Hancock has a Ph.D. in Educational Computing from the University of North Texas and a M.Ed in Educational Leadership from the University of Texas at San Antonio. He is currently co-editor of the Journal of Deaf Education Technology (JDET), and is an associate/assistant editor for several journals in the fields of educational leadership and educational technology. He is currently Co-Chair of the SITE Educational Leadership SIG and blogs about educational technology leadership issues for Education Week's Leadertalk.


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