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Benchmarking e‐learning: trialling the “MIT90s” framework

Virendra Mistry (Centre for Excellence in Learning & Teaching, University of Glamorgan, Pontypridd, UK)

Benchmarking: An International Journal

ISSN: 1463-5771

Article publication date: 30 May 2008




The paper aims to focus on the University of Glamorgan benchmarking activity aimed at assessing its progress towards the embedding of e‐learning. This activity was part of a wider UK benchmarking exercise managed by the Higher Education Academy and the Joint Information Systems Committee.


The university opted to trial the MIT90s framework; a framework developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that was designed to encourage organisations to understand the dynamics of transformation vis‐à‐vis the acquisition of technology. The MIT90s framework had not previously been associated with the benchmarking of e‐learning and this paper is case study evidence on the experiences of trialling the framework.


Benchmarking e‐learning, and using the MIT90s framework in particular, is not a trivial exercise. Adapting a model with roots in IT/ICT towards more pedagogic‐related activities was a challenging, yet rewarding, process. Applying the framework stimulated strong debate during the project – namely whether it was advisable to benchmark e‐learning as a separate entity to more conventional learning and teaching practices. The framework highlighted some areas of disconnection between activity and institutional vision and strategy related to e‐learning.

Research limitations/implications

Applying the MIT90s framework to benchmark e‐learning needs to be continuous and over a longer period than the six months described in this paper.

Practical implications

The greatest advantage of the MIT90s framework is that it allowed the project team to benchmark progress against the institutional strategy for teaching and learning, rather than against other institutions' activity. It also enabled the senior management of the university make better sense of the interconnections between strategy, vision and practice.


The paper outlines the MIT90s framework which had never previously been used as a tool to benchmark e‐learning.



Mistry, V. (2008), "Benchmarking e‐learning: trialling the “MIT90s” framework", Benchmarking: An International Journal, Vol. 15 No. 3, pp. 326-340.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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