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The ACODE Benchmarks for Technology Enhanced Learning: Extending the journey

The Australasian Council on Online Distance and eLearning (ACODE) Benchmarks for Technology Enhanced Learning are a tool designed to assist institutions in their practice of delivering a quality technology enhanced learning experience for their students and staff. 27 international universities met in 2016 to collaboratively review and analyse their capability, and identify opportunities for ongoing research and improvement.

This presentation will provide an introduction to the benchmarks and illustrate these with examples drawn from the collaborative workshop. Shared challenges and issues facing universities will be discussed and opportunities for future research and improvement identified.

Abstract
The ACODE Benchmarks were developed to assist institutions in their practice of delivering a quality technology enhanced learning experience for their students and staff (recognising that some institutions refer to their practice with terms such as e-learning, online or flexible learning, blended, etc.). The original ACODE benchmarks were developed as part of an ACODE funded project in 2007. They were developed collaboratively by representatives of a number of ACODE member universities and at the time were independently reviewed by Professor Paul Bacsich, a UK consultant specialising in benchmarking and historical aspects of e-learning. More recently (2014) the Benchmarks have undergone a major review to ensure they are now both current and forward looking and then applied by 24 intuitions in the first ACODE Inter-institutional Benchmarking Summit held in Sydney.

There are eight benchmarks, each of which can be used as a standalone indicator, or used collectively to provide a whole of institution perspective, or most powerfully, as part of a collaborative activity undertaken with other universities.The Benchmarks cover the following eight topic areas:

1.      Institution-wide policy and governance for technology enhanced learning;
2.      Planning for institution-wide quality improvement of technology enhanced learning;
3.      Information technology systems, services and support for technology enhanced learning;
4.      The application of technology enhanced learning services;
5.      Staff professional development for the effective use of technology enhanced learning;
6.      Staff support for the use of technology enhanced learning;
7.      Student training for the effective use of technology enhanced learning;
8.      Student support for the use of technology enhanced learning

As part of ACODE’s ongoing commitment to both this tool and the sector, it ran a second major Inter-Institutional Benchmarking Summit in June of this year in Canberra, again using the Benchmarks
(http://www.acode.edu.au/mod/resource/view.php?id=193).

A total of 27 universities from Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific, South Africa and the United Kingdom attended and engaged in a richly collaborative workshop that explored their individual capabilities across the ACODE benchmarks, working to identify shared issues, potential solutions and opportunities for ongoing improvements in the use of technology to enhance student outcomes and organisational systems.

This presentation will provide an introduction to the benchmarks and illustrate these with examples drawn from the collaborative workshop. Shared challenges and issues facing universities will be discussed and opportunities for future research and improvement identified.