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ACODE Benchmarks for technology enhanced learning (TEL): Findings from a 24 university benchmarking exercise regarding the benchmarks’ fitness for purpose

Michael Sankey (Learning Environments and Media Unit, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Australia)
Fernando F. Padró (Learning and Teaching Services Unit, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Australia)

International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences

ISSN: 1756-669X

Article publication date: 19 September 2016

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present findings from a benchmarking exercise by 24 higher education institutions (HEIs) about the use of the Australasian Council on Open, Distance and e-learning (ACODE) Benchmarks and its benchmarking process to provide data about technology-enhanced learning (TEL) environments.

Design/methodology/approach

Results of the first instalment of a major benchmarking activity of the robustness of the benchmarks and of the benchmarking process itself based on two surveys provided participants, one during the collaborative session between participants from the 24 HEIs and nine months later.

Findings

The most important conclusion was the interest and usefulness of the benchmarks for participating HEIs, especially the sharing of information between HEIs. Six recommendations from the data indicated the desire to formally endorse the benchmarks, facilitate a formal benchmarking activity every two years, postpone the merger of four benchmarks into two and create more online tools to share practice.

Research limitations/implications

Data were collected and analysed through non-validated surveys based on ACODE’s need-to-know to develop baselines specific to the usefulness of the benchmarks themselves, the benchmarking process itself and next steps.

Practical implications

This paper provides a comparative view of how 24 universities approach online education and their use of the ACODE Benchmarks and how they facilitate HEI regulatory compliance.

Social implications

ACODE Benchmarks are one of few institution-wide quality improvement tools or frameworks for TEL available for universities to use. The benchmarking exercise provides a process through which HEIs can learn from each other how to improve their approaches to e-learning activities to better serve student learning needs.

Originality/value

Reporting of how universities seen as leading practitioners in TEL pursue good/best practice, decision-making and reporting.

Keywords

Citation

Sankey, M. and Padró, F.F. (2016), "ACODE Benchmarks for technology enhanced learning (TEL): Findings from a 24 university benchmarking exercise regarding the benchmarks’ fitness for purpose", International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, Vol. 8 No. 3, pp. 345-362. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJQSS-04-2016-0033

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited