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Journal Article

Piloting a Process Maturity Model as an e‑Learning Benchmarking Method  pp49-58

Jim Petch, Gayle Calverley, Hilary Dexter, Tim Cappelli

© Mar 2007 Volume 5 Issue 1, ECEL 2006, Editor: Shirley Williams, pp1 - 86

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Abstract

As part of a national e‑learning benchmarking initiative of the UK Higher Education Academy, the University of Manchester is carrying out a pilot study of a method to benchmark e‑learning in an institution. The pilot was designed to evaluate the operational viability of a method based on the e‑Learning Maturity Model developed at the University of Wellington, New Zealand, which, in turn was derived from Carnegie Mellon's widely accepted Capability Maturity Model. The method is based on gathering evidence about the many and interdependent processes in the e‑learning and student lifecycles and takes a holistic view of maturity, addressing multiple aspects. This paper deals with the rationale for the selected method and explains the adoption of a process based approach. It describes the iterative refinement of the questionnaire used to elicit evidence for measures of five aspects of maturity in a range of e‑learning processes, in five process areas. The pilot study will produce a map of evidence of e‑learning practice across the processes matrix and a measure of the degree of embedding in a sample of faculties within the institution expressed as capability and maturity. To provide a useful measure of where an organisation is with respect to a particular aspect of e‑learning, it needs to be able to act on that measure, finding any new activities required or modifying current activities to improve its processes. The pilot study aims to evaluate the potential for improvement inherent in the capability maturity model and to examine the resource implications of obtaining useful evidence. A successful benchmarking effort should be able to inform an institution's planning and resourcing processes and the outcomes of this pilot should lead to an informed decision about a method for benchmarking the embedding of e‑learning, both for the particular institution and for the sector, which in turn can lead to operational suggestions for improvement.

 

Keywords: embedding, e-learning, process, maturity, benchmarking

 

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