Measuring performance of virtual learning environment system in higher education

William Ho (Aston Business School, Aston University, Birmingham, UK)
Helen E. Higson (Aston Business School, Aston University, Birmingham, UK)
Prasanta K. Dey (Aston Business School, Aston University, Birmingham, UK)
Xiaowei Xu (Aston Business School, Aston University, Birmingham, UK)
Rami Bahsoon (University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK)

Quality Assurance in Education

ISSN: 0968-4883

Publication date: 30 January 2009



The purpose of this paper is to measure the performance of commercial virtual learning environment (VLE) systems, which helps the decision makers to select the appropriate system for their institutions.


This paper develops an integrated multiple criteria decision making approach, which combines the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) and quality function deployment (QFD), to evaluate and select the best system. The evaluating criteria are derived from the requirements of those who use the system. A case study is provided to demonstrate how the integrated approach works.


The major advantage of the integrated approach is that the evaluating criteria are of interest to the stakeholders. This ensures that the selected system will achieve the requirements and satisfy the stakeholders most. Another advantage is that the approach can guarantee the benchmarking to be consistent and reliable. From the case study, it is proved that the performance of a VLE system being used at the university is the best. Therefore, the university should continue to run the system in order to support and facilitate both teaching and learning.


It is believed that there is no study that measures the performance of VLE systems, and thus decision makers may have difficulties in system evaluation and selection for their institutions.



William Ho, Helen E. Higson, Prasanta K. Dey, Xiaowei Xu and Rami Bahsoon (2009) "Measuring performance of virtual learning environment system in higher education", Quality Assurance in Education, Vol. 17 No. 1, pp. 6-29

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