A Note on Efficiency

[Measuring Cost and Efficiency Effects]

Even the experts acknowledge that measuring ‘output’ in education is difficult, but this doesn’t stop them from trying — because once you have a handle on a learning output (what it means and who’s responsible), the path to institutional efficiency is a much smoother ride, or so the argument goes.

Time may be the enemy, but output is the best friend you’ll ever have. The better you understand outputs, the easier it is to improve baseline efficiencies.

Efficiency begins with a clearly defined, educationally coherent guided pathway. The clearer the pathway, the clearer the output.

Some questions you might ask your prospective outputs:

  1. How confident are you about your program choices?
  2. Why don’t you want to enroll in high-demand, high-potential fields?
  3. How can we help you make informed choices?
  4. What are the economic returns of your program choices — to you, your family and the taxpayer?

Performance target –> pathway spending (expenditures per outcome) –> economic return.

Efficiency (defined as ‘awards per dollar of expenditure’) is now the endgame of higher education.

Enter the Plague. There is a gray dust on everything.



Bill Marsh

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