Title: Benefit and cost analysis of e-learning for knowledge management: the Royal Thai Government

Authors: Kongkiti Phusavat, Pornthep Annussornnitisarn

Addresses: International Graduate Program in Industrial Engineering, Department of Industrial Engineering, Kasertsart University, Bangkok, Thailand. ' International Graduate Program in Industrial Engineering, Department of Industrial Engineering, Kasertsart University, Bangkok, Thailand

Abstract: The primary purposes of this paper are to describe and present the cost analysis for developing and implementing an e-learning programme for the Royal Thai Government (RTG). This e-learning initiative was part of an attempt to initiate, capture and nurture knowledge for RTG staff. The study mainly focused on the common skills that could help all public agencies comply with the goals of the Good Governance Act of 2003 (GG). The study considered the necessary cost on both the initial and utilisation stages of e-learning. The cost analysis included comprehensive comparisons between e-learning and the traditional classroom approach. The relevant data were collected through surveys and interviews. The e-learning was more cost-effective, given the size of 1.1 million RTG staff. The cost spent on one user or learner with e-learning decreased substantially as the number of learners increased. The suitable structure for implementing the RTG|s e-learning indicated that the Learning Management System (LMS) component to be contracted out. At the same time, the remaining components (i.e. software, multimedia and contents of common skills as well as updating effort) are to be managed by the Office of the Public Sector Development Commission (OPDC). An overall cost-approximation function was also developed for the OPDC future use. Although the results from the cost comparison revealed many advantages, it is important to recognise the e-learning|s limitations, including a lack of individual interaction and of personal networking. Finally, the results from this project would be used as a future baseline for the OPDC|s planning and budgeting processes.

Keywords: e-learning; electronic learning; online learning; knowledge management; Thai government; Thailand; good governance; learning management systems; public sector development.

DOI: 10.1504/IJKMS.2007.012531

International Journal of Knowledge Management Studies, 2007 Vol.1 No.3/4, pp.368 - 387

Available online: 20 Feb 2007 *

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