Using the e-learning Maturity Model to Identify Good Practice in E-Learning #ascilite

Live blogging from a talk by Stephen Marshall – Using the e-learning Maturity Model to Identify Good Practice in E-Learning

Different ways of talking about quality as

  • perfection
  • exception – surpassing of standards
  • functionality – degree of utility.
  • adequate return – cost benefit.

Comment: Quality as a big stick.

Focus here is quality as sensemaking. Not as ranking, ordering etc.

We shall never be able to esacpe the ulimate dilemma that all our knowledge is about the past, and all our decisions are about the future.

Wilson (2000), From scenario thinking to strategic action

Brief description of maturity models – assumes “continuous improvement” – optimising is the ultimate

Comment: Does this model actually apply in a dynamic environment? Can an organisation ever know

Showing the reports for Oz Unis against the eMM.

Universities not strong on self-criticism. Focused on looking good in public.

Comment: Surprise, surprise.

Without these conversations – acknowledging things need to be improved – limits way forward.

eMM based on hueristics and the idea that we don’t know yet how – as institutions – to do e-learning well.

Now using various elements of the eMM to illustrate examples of good practice at various Oz universities.


Perhaps the most useful application and perspective on quality and eMM that I’ve seen. Of course, when most senior management think about quality, sensemaking is perhaps the last thing they are thinking of. Especially given the observation that Universities aren’t good at being self-critical.

Not to mention “most universities don’t measure what they do” and the comment that this sort of work goes around in cycles as accountability becomes more important.

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