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Unformatted text preview: ISSN 1479-4403 11 ©Academic Conferences Ltd Reference this paper as: Choy S (2007) “Benefits of e-Learning Benchmarks: Australian Case Studies” The Electronic Journal of e-Learning Volume 5 Issue 1, pp 11 - 20, available online at www.ejel.org Benefits of e-Learning Benchmarks: Australian Case Studies Sarojni Choy Queensland University of Technology [email protected] Abstract: In 2004 the Australian Flexible Learning Framework developed a suite of quantitative and qualitative indicators on the uptake, use and impact of e-learning in the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector. These indicators were used to design items for a survey to gather quantitative data for benchmarking. A series of four surveys gathered data from VET providers, teachers, students and their employers. The data formed baseline indicators that were used to establish organisational goals and benchmarks for e-learning. These indicators were the first known set for benchmarking e-learning in Australia. The case studies in this paper illustrate ways in which VET providers have approached e-learning benchmarking, the benefits achieved and the lessons that they learned. The cases exemplify how VET providers have adapted the baseline indicators, how the indicators informed organisational plans and e-learning outcomes. The benefits of benchmarking are categorised under three purposes: reporting, performance management, and service improvement. A set of practical strategies is derived from the cases for consideration by other organisations interested in benchmarking e-learning services. Keywords: e-learning indicators, e-learning uptake and outcomes, benchmarks, planning for e-learning benchmarking, case studies. 1. Introduction Over the last six years, the Australian Government has invested over $95m to enhance e-learning in the vocational education and training (VET) sector. This investment was based on the espoused benefits of e-learning. There is much anecdotal evidence and some research to corroborate the benefits of e-learning and provide support for the return on investment in e-learning technologies (see Block and Dobell, 1999; European Commission, 2000; Phillip, J., Phillip, P. and Zuniga, 2000; Roffe, 2002). However, there is variance in how such benefits are measured. Benchmarking for e-learning is very much in its infancy in Australia. In 2004, the Australian Flexible Learning Framework developed a set of twelve indicators to benchmark the uptake use and impact of e-learning in the VET sector. It was the intention of the Framework to develop the indicators, test these and make them available for users to adapt these to establish organisational goals and benchmarks for e-learning. The purpose was not to impose the benchmarking activity or use the indicators for comparison between institutions. Data against these indicators were used by VET institutions to assess the benefits of e-learning using the benchmarks at the organisational level, within their own contexts. A organisational level, within their own contexts....
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- Spring '10
- E-learning, Virtual learning environment, Learning management system, The Electronic Journal of e-Learning, e-learning benchmarking