Third Degree I.D.

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Educational Software Business Plan

Services

Third Degree I.D. focuses on the following deliverables: program/curriculum design and development, course design and development, program/curriculum and course evaluation, content analyses and revision, rich-media production, e-learning training, e-learning consulting, and additional services, such as market research, editing, document workflow, and translation. For purposes of billing, project management, and client relations, these services are broken down as follows:

  • Program/Curriculum Design & Development
    • New Program Services
    • Existing Program Services

  • Course Design and Development

  • Learning Object Development

  • Training

  • Consulting

  • Other Services

3.1 Program Design & Development

Third Degree I.D. provides development services for clients in accordance with educational best practices and client specifications. It employs a systematic design and development process that produces instructionally sound, engaging programs/curricula that are aligned with institutional goals and exceed applicable accreditation and/or compliance standards.

3.1.1 New Program Services

New program services are available to clients who do not yet possess an e-learning infrastructure or who do not yet possess robust programming that would adequately leverage the infrastructure.

Needs Analysis Report
The needs analysis report is the end result of a client-partnered consulting and research effort. The report articulates technology, workforce, and policy/procedure needs for e-learning programs in the general context of any institutional and/or accreditation and/or compliance constraints. Clients are charged according to the scope of the project, which is generally tied to the length and/or number of programs/curricula to be developed. For example, a needs analysis report for an e-learning certificate or academic “minor” (or group of related courses of no more than six) would conclude with a base charge of $3600.

Programs/Curricula Types

Estimated Development Cost

Base Charge
(1.5 times cost)

3-to 6-Course Series (Training Program, Certificate or Undergraduate Minor)

32 hours x $75/hour = $2400

 $3600

7- to 12-Course Series (Professional Certificate, Masters Degree)

40 hours x $75/hour = $3000

$4500

13- to 16-Course Series (PhD/Terminals, Other Professional Degrees)

48 hours x $75/hour = $3600

 $5400

17- to 20-Course Series (Corporate College, Undergraduate Major or Academic “Core”)

56 hours x $75/hour = $4200

$6300


Clients developing multiple curricula receive a 50% discount on the base charge of the lesser fee. For example, an institution or company developing an MA and an undergraduate minor would be charged the full fee for the MA plus half of the fee charged for the undergraduate minor ($4500 + $1800 = $6300).

Funding Assistance
Funding assistance is a deliverable provided to institutions or companies that wish to raise funds externally in order to underwrite or mitigate their e-learning start-up and operation expenses. Assistance would include research, reporting, grant and business proposal efforts. The charge for initial consulting is $75 per hour, with subsequent research, reporting, grant and business proposal efforts charged at $50 per hour. Clients may indicate a “not to exceed” clause in all funding-assistance efforts.

Program/Curriculum Prospectus
The program/curriculum prospectus is the end result of a client-partnered consulting and research effort. The prospectus outlines the objectives and viability of a given program/curriculum and critiques any development dependencies or any potential implementation constraints; it also includes a market study and a program/curriculum evaluation plan.

Programs/Curricula Types

Estimated Development Cost

Base Charge
(1.5 times cost)

3-to 6-Course Series (Training Program, Certificate or Undergraduate Minor)24 hours x $50/hour = $1,200

$1,800

7- to 12-Course Series (Professional Certificate, Masters Degree)32 hours x $50/hour = $1,600

$2,400

13- to 16-Course Series (PhD/Terminals, Other Professional Degrees)40 hours x $50/hour = $2,000

$3,000

17- to 20-Course Series (Corporate College, Undergraduate Major or Academic “Core”) 48 hours x $50/hour = $2,400

$3,600

Clients who purchase a needs analysis report are given a 20% discount on each program/curriculum prospectus.

Program/Curriculum Development Plan
The program/curriculum development plan is the end result of a client-partnered consulting and research effort. The development plan is a report that articulates the program/curriculum specifications according to institutional needs. The document includes a full articulation of curriculum design, including course-series or individual course "look and feel" and functionality requirements. It characterizes the significant development/delivery features of the courses and identifies any course developers, subject matter experts (SMEs), or consultants associated with the individual course projects. The development plan includes a time horizon for the overall program/curriculum with timelines for individual courses and delineated fees associated with project development and management.*

Programs/Curricula Types

Estimated Development Cost

Base Charge
(1.5 times cost)

3-to 6-Course Series (Training Program, Certificate or Undergraduate Minor)

8 hours x $50/hour = $400

 $600

7- to 12-Course Series (Professional Certificate, Masters Degree)

 12 hours x $50/hour = $600

$900

13- to 16-Course Series (PhD/Terminals, Other Professional Degrees)

16 hours x $50/hour = $800

$1,200

17- to 20-Course Series (Corporate College, Undergraduate Major or Academic “Core”)

 20 hours x $50/hour = $1,000

$1,500

Clients who purchase a curriculum prospectus report are given a 20% discount on each corresponding program/curriculum plan.

*Clients are charged a monthly project management fee of 5% on the overall curriculum design and development charge for the duration of the project development period. A project development period runs from the date of the program/curriculum development plan implementation to the date of program/curriculum development plan completion.

Program/Curriculum Implementation Strategy
The program/curriculum implementation strategy is the end result of a client-partnered consulting and research effort. It is a report that recommends ways to optimize program/curriculum support and to leverage the program/curriculum in order to maximize learning and revenues. The report recommends enrollment goals, scheduling, instructor recruitment, content-reuse, and technical support strategies.

Programs/Curricula Types

Estimated Development Cost

Base Charge
(1.5 times cost)

3-to 6-Course Series (Training Program, Certificate or Undergraduate Minor)

10 hours x $50/hour = $500

$750

7- to 12-Course Series (Professional Certificate, Masters Degree)

15 hours x $50/hour = $750

$1,125

13- to 16-Course Series (PhD/Terminals, Other Professional Degrees)

20 hours x $50/hour = $1,000

$1,500

17- to 20-Course Series (Corporate College, Undergraduate Major or Academic “Core”)

25 hours x $50/hour = $1,250

$1,875

Clients who purchase a program/curriculum development plan are given a 20% discount on each corresponding program/curriculum implementation strategy report.

Program/Curriculum Evaluation Plan
The curriculum evaluation plan is the end result of a client-partnered consulting and research effort. It is a report that articulates qualitative and quantitative strategies which satisfy accreditation and/or compliance standards and assist institutions and companies in procuring feedback that informs and improves upon their curricula. The evaluation plan includes survey collection instruments for curriculum-level and course-level analysis.

Programs/Curricula Types

Estimated Development Cost

Base Charge
(1.5 times cost)

3-to 6-Course Series (Training Program, Certificate or Undergraduate Minor)

16 hours x $50/hour = $800

$1,200

7- to 12-Course Series (Professional Certificate, Masters Degree)

20 hours x $50/hour = $1,000

$1,500

13- to 16-Course Series (PhD/Terminals, Other Professional Degrees)

24 hours x $50/hour = $1,200

$1,800

17- to 20-Course Series (Corporate College, Undergraduate Major or Academic “Core”)

28 hours x $50/hour = $1,400

$2,100

Clients who purchase a curriculum prospectus report are given a 20% discount on each corresponding program/curriculum evaluation plan.

3.1.2 Existing Program Services

Existing program services are available to clients who possess an e-learning infrastructure and deliver programs/curricula, but who wish to enhance or improve upon their offerings. Clients with existing programs may select from the New Program Services, if they wish to add new programs to their offerings.

Program/Curriculum Evaluation Report
The program/curriculum evaluation report includes a top-level analysis of a given program/curriculum relevant to institutional or company goals and relative to comparable institutional and company programs/curricula. It includes a systematic analysis of each course within the program/curriculum and provides recommendations for revision of content, structure, and delivery. Recommendations are informed by educational best practices and any institutional, accreditation and/or compliance standards.

Programs/Curricula Types

Estimated Development Cost

Base Charge
(1.5 times cost)

1 Course (Stand-Alone)

6 hours x $50/hour = $300

$450

3-to 6-Course Series (Training Program, Certificate or Undergraduate Minor)

36 hours x $50 = $1,800

 $2,700

7- to 12-Course Series (Professional Certificate, Masters Degree)

72 hours x $50/hour = $3,600

$5,400

13- to 16-Course Series (PhD/Terminals, Other Professional Degrees)

96 hours x $50/hour = $4,800

$7,200

17- to 20-Course Series (Corporate College, Undergraduate Major or Academic “Core”)

120 hours x $50/hour = $6,000

$9,000

Program/Curriculum Strategy Report
The program/curriculum strategy report is the end result of a client-partnered consulting and research effort. It is a report that analyzes the institution or company’s current implementation and operations strategy and recommends ways to optimize program/curriculum support and to leverage the program/curriculum in order to maximize learning and revenues. The report recommends enrollment goals, scheduling, instructor recruitment, content-reuse, and technical support strategies.

Programs/Curricula Types

Estimated Development Cost

Base Charge
(1.5 times cost)

3-to 6-Course Series (Training Program, Certificate or Undergraduate Minor)

10 hours x $50/hour = $500

$750

7- to 12-Course Series (Professional Certificate, Masters Degree)

15 hours x $50/hour = $750

$1,125

13- to 16-Course Series (PhD/Terminals, Other Professional Degrees)

20 hours x $50/hour = $1,000

$1,500

17- to 20-Course Series (Corporate College, Undergraduate Major or Academic “Core”)

25 hours x $50/hour = $1,250

$1,875

Clients who purchase a curriculum evaluation report are given a 20% discount on each corresponding program/curriculum strategy report.

Program/Curriculum Maintenance (on Retainer)
Program/Curriculum Maintenance provides institutions or companies with “basic maintenance” of courses and learning objects in a given e-learning program or curriculum. “Basic maintenance” is a support package that serves clients who require minor course or course-shell changes on a regular basis. Clients who develop courses that feature time-sensitive information and are instructor-led may be better served by regular maintenance to course features that change, such as schedules, calendars, tests, and evaluations. Maintenance is charged on a monthly basis at 5 percent of the overall program/curricula charge.

3.2 Course Design and Development

Third Degree I.D. provides course- or project-development services for clients in accordance with established curriculum plans. The company employs a systematic instructional design process that produces instructionally sound, engaging course work, systematically aligned with program goals and learning outcomes and designed to exceed institutional accreditation standards.

Course-design cost estimates are based upon the following assumptions:

  • A course or training project contains one or more units of instruction.
  • A “unit” consists of approximately 8 pages of content and represents 3-5 hours of instruction.
  • A “page” of content covers a single topic and represents information that would be presented to a learner “at once” (e.g. between clicks of a “Next” button).
  • A “page” of content contains from 150-1500 words (as dictated by lesson flow and audience requirements).
  • A typical unit contains approximately:
    • 16 content-related photos or illustrations (an average of 2 per page)
    • 1 collaborative discussion assignment
    • 2 hands-on or research-focused “homework” assignments, and
    • 1 standard assessment (e.g. 20-question multiple choice, true/false, or matching quiz).

Note: A unit may also contain one or more interactive learning objects, which are priced separately under topic 3.3, below.

Development Options

Type A: Courses are developed “from scratch.” Third Degree I.D. is responsible for providing subject-matter expertise, researching relevant content, and developing courses with limited support from the client partner. This is the most expensive development option.

Type B: Courses are developed with the aid of a dedicated subject-matter expert employed by the client for the scope of the project (e.g. a faculty member for higher-ed institutions, or a seasoned field professional for corporate clients).

Type C: The client partner provides raw content in an existing medium (e.g. textbooks, articles, PowerPoint slides, training manuals, etc.) Third Degree I.D. develops courses that re-purpose and/or supplement the existing content.

Type D: The client partner provides both existing content in an alternate medium and a dedicated subject-matter expert. Third Degree I.D. works with the dedicated subject-matter expert over the course of the project to produce courses that re-purpose or supplement the raw content.

Delivery Options

Type 1: Content is designed for delivery by nonprofit institutions under the rules of the TEACH Act. This is the least restrictive option in terms of copyright and, therefore, requires limited investment in new media development and permissions acquisition.

Type 2: Content is designed for delivery by nonprofit institutions and education clients under the “Fair Use” guidelines for copyrighted works. Fair Use strictly limits the amount of copyrighted content that can be used within the context of an online course. Therefore, courses developed for this standard require additional investment in new media development and permissions acquisition.

Type 3: Content is developed for commercial delivery. This is the most restrictive option and requires that all course content (including media) be developed from scratch or obtained via purchase or agreement with the copyright holder.

Cost Estimates

Course/Program Type

Estimated Development Cost per Unit

Base Charge*
(1.5 times cost)

A1

8 pages x 2.5 hour/pg. x $50/hour = $1,000

$1,500

A2

Cost (A1) + 20% (media/permissions) = $1,200

$1,800

A3

Cost (A1) + 40% (media/permissions) = $1,400

$2,100

B1

8 pages x 2 hour/pg. x $50/hour = $800

$1,200

B2

Cost (B1) + 20% (media/permissions) = $960

$1,440

B3

Cost (B1) + 40% (media/permissions) = $1,120

$1,680

C1

8 pages x 1.5 hour/pg. x $50/hour = $600

$900

C2

Cost (C1) + 20% (media/permissions) = $720

$1,080

C3

Cost (C1) + 40% (media/permissions) = $840

$1,260

D1

8 pages x 1 hour/pg. x $50/hour = $400

$600

D2

Cost (D1) + 20% (media/permissions) = $480

$720

D3

Cost (D1) + 40% (media/permissions) = $560

$840

*Note: A typical course for a higher-ed client is 10 to 12 units in length (representing 30-50 hours of instruction). Multiply the unit price by 10 or 12 to calculate average course cost.

Additional Development Services and Pricing

Third Degree I.D. also offers the following additional services related to course/program development:

Service

Estimated Development Cost

Base Charge
(1.5 times cost)

Course Template Design

20 hours x $50/hour = $1,000

$1,500 per program

Content (Peer) Review

10 hours x $25/hour = $250

$375 per course

Instructional Design Review

8 hours x $50/hour = $400

$600 per course

Retrofit for ADA Compliance

20 hours x $50/hour = $1,000

$1,500 per course

Quality Assurance Testing

8 hours x $40/hour = $400

$600 per course

Assessment Development
(20 QAs, plus feedback)

3 hours x $50/hour = $150

$225 per assessment

Image Editing (per 25)

5 hours x $40/hour = $200

$300 per 25 images

Audio Editing (per 7 clips*)

10 hours x $50/hour = $500

$750 per 7 clips

Video Editing (per 7 clips**)

10 hours x $70/hour = $700

$1,050 per 7 clips

*1 audio “clip” = 60 seconds of digital audio

**1 video “clip” = 30 seconds of digital video

3.3 Learning Object Development

Third Degree I.D. designs and develops rich-media learning objects, designed to motivate learners, to increase course interactivity, to provide novel and interesting views of course content, to simulate real-world scenarios, and to provide stimulating alternatives to drill-and-practice instruction. Learning objects are typically authored in Macromedia Flash and range in complexity from single-screen interactions with no evaluation to rich, simulated environments that respond to a variety of user inputs.

Object Types

Level 1: Level 1 objects are typically single-screen environments that respond to user actions but do not evaluate responses. Examples include:

  • X-Ray Machine: A custom cursor reveals a hidden layer as the user rolls his mouse over an image. Imagine, in an anatomy course, being able to peer “inside” a simple, illustrated diagram of the human body, revealing the skeletal system, the circulatory system, etc.
  • Overlay Engine: Users can toggle various image “layers” on and off, similar to the way transparency overlays can be used with an over head projector. Imagine a map with highways, lakes, and gas station markers that could be hidden and revealed as needed.
  • Simple Image Gallery: Users cycle through images with corresponding text. Imagine a menu with five buttons, each displaying a single work of art, the title of the piece, the artist’s name, and the date it was created.

Level 2: These objects are typically 1-2 screen engines, with evaluation and feedback, and are typically used as assessment vehicles. Examples include:

  • Media-Rich Quiz: For instance, a multiple-choice or fill-in-the-blank quiz with optional areas for displaying diagrams, photographs, or hints.
  • Hint/Password Game: The user tries to guess the topic or item that is described by a growing list of clues.

Level 3: Level 3 objects are media-rich resources that are designed to display a variety of media in a unique format. They may combine text, illustrations, photographs, charts and graphs, audio/video clips, and web links to create rich, educational experiences. Examples include:

  • Timelines: Imagine an interactive timeline designed to illustrate key points in the development of personal computing. For instance, one event on the timeline could provide photos of the early Apple II computers and later Macintosh models, text describing the growth of Apple as a major hardware manufacturer, sound-bytes from industry professionals, and a link to the Apple website.
  • Image Magnifier: Imagine a display engine that allows users to interactively select and view magnified portions of a small image (e.g. a painting or other work of art). The engine could handle multiple images (with a page-turning metaphor), and a text area could provide a description of each work with links to museums featuring work by the same artist.
  • Interactive Dictionary/Glossary: Imagine key words or terms hyperlinked from within a course. When a term is clicked, the glossary would open, displaying a basic text definition, supplemented by audio clips, animated diagrams, or illustrations.

Level 4: These are typically complex adaptive learning tools that modify content presentation, based upon user response. Examples include:

  • Adaptive Assessments/Tutorials: Content presentation is adjusted based upon user responses. Imagine a quiz that supplies a more difficult question each time a user responds correctly or easier questions when the user responds incorrectly.
  • Adaptive Simulations: These are typically games or simulations that replicate real-world problems. Imagine a game designed to test a learner’s understanding of the urban planning process. For example, users might control the rate and quality of road construction, public parks, and commercial/residential zoning. By choosing to spend a significant portion of her budget on parks and residential development, a user may receive feedback that traffic congestion and unemployment have driven potential buyers out of the city.

It is important to note that the descriptions above do not attempt to describe the entire universe of potential learning object development. The examples provided with the level descriptions are intended to help Third Degree I.D. and the client effectively gauge the complexity of proposed objects and price/budget accordingly.

Cost Estimates—Engine Development

Object Type

Est. I.D. Hours

Est. Development Hours

Estimated Development Cost

Base Charge
(1.5 times cost)

Level 1

5

15

20 hours x $50/hour = $1,000

$1,500

Level 2

5

35

40 hours x $50/hour = $2,000

$3,000

Level 3

15

120

135 hours x $50/hour = $6,750

$10,125

Level 4

25

160

185 hours x $50/hour = $9,250

 $13,875

Cost Estimates—Engine “Population” and Media Editing

Level

Image Content

Audio Content

Video Content

Base Charge
(1.5 times cost)

A

< 25 images:
5h x $40/h = $200

< 7 clips:
10h x $50/h = $500

< 7 clips:
10h x $70/h = $700

Images: $300
Audio: $750
Video: $1050
B

25-49 images:
10h x $40/h = $400

7-14 clips:
15h x $50/h = $750

7-14 clips:
15h x $70/h = $1050

Images: $600
Audio: $1125
Video: $1575
C

50-74 images:
15h x $40/h = $600

15-19 clips:
20h x $50/h  = $1000

15-19 clips:
20h x $70/h = $1400

Images: $900
Audio: $1500
Video: $2100
D

75+ images:
$10 per image

20+ clips:
$50 per clip

20+ clips:
$70 per clip

Images: $15/image
Audio: $75/clip
Video: $105/clip

3.4 Training

Third Degree I.D. provides a number of training options for clients who wish to expand their e-learning skills and knowledge. Training sessions can benefit instructors, support staff and administrators.

Training TitleDescription

Base Charge

Course Development Training16-hours of classroom training (maximum 10 participants)

$3600

ePedagogy Training4-hours of classroom training (maximum 10 participants)

$900

CMS/LMS Training8-hours of classroom training (maximum 10 participants)

$1800

Course Maintenance Training8-hours of classroom training (maximum 10 participants)

$1800

Compliance Training (for TEACH Act, Fair Use, and ADA)4-hours of classroom training (maximum 10 participants)

$900

Course Writing and Instructional Design Training8-hours of classroom training (maximum 10 participants)

$1800

Media Techniques Training4-hours of classroom training (maximum 10 participants)

$900

Learning Objects Maintenance Training4-hours of classroom training (maximum 10 participants)

$900

3.5 Consulting and Other

Third Degree I.D. charges a flat fee of $75 per hour for consulting, and specializes in a variety of areas, including:

  • e-learning strategic planning
  • accreditation substantive change documentation
  • learning-objects database planning
  • content-reuse planning
  • "best practices" consulting
  • open-source e-learning assets consulting

Third Degree I.D. charges a flat fee of $60 per hour for work that may stem from consulting, such as:

  • Research
  • Editing
  • Copy editing
  • Translation
  • Illustration
  • Writing