e-Learning@DMU Benchmarking Blog

This is a place for some chat about the HEA's e-learning benchmarking exercise - at least in its DMU incarnation...

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

We (well okay, I) have signed us up to a HEA-led benchmarking process. Now I wonder (no offence meant to the HEA) whether this has as much to do with benchmarking as England have to do with successful one-day cricket. I'm not saying it hasn't but I'm a little confused.

This looks more like internal baselining of current practice using one of a range of methodologies. Moreover it looks like we have the green-flag to use an adapted form of the chosen evaluative path. We are certainly not involved in standards or results-based benchmarking, although I'd be willing to chew the fat with you about whether it is process-based benchmarking. Across the HE sector we don't seem to be evaluating the processes that lead to specific outputs, in part because we are all pulling-in different data in order to make our claims, and because we are all using/adapting different methodologies. Whether this approach allows us to objectively understand the reason for differences in performance given the complexities involved in embedding e-learning is a moot point.

However, being involved in this process gives DMU the opportunity to do two things: evaluate where we are now so that we can recast our e-learning strategy and plan, and our institutional approach to e-learning-based creativity and innovation; and to build networks of users beyond the silos in which they currently operate. This will be a continuous thing. Or process. Or activity. Whatever - it'll be something.

Along the way I hope that we can look outward to other HEIs and check out some best practice, or different practice. Or even similar practice. We'll grapple with objectivity at that point.

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