E-learning maturity model
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eMM is a quality improvement framework based on the ideas of the Capability Maturity Model (CMM) and Software Process Improvement and Capability dEtermination (SPICE) methodologies. The underlying idea that guides the development of the eMM is that the ability of an institution to be effective in any particular area of work is dependent on their capability to engage in high quality processes that are reproducible and able to be extended and sustained as demand grows.
The eMM provides a set of thirty-five processes, divided into five process areas, that define a key aspect of the overall ability of institutions to perform well in the delivery of e-learning. Each process is selected on the basis of its necessity in the development and maintenance of capability in e-learning. All of the processes have been created after a programme of research and testing, conducted internationally.
The eMM is being trialled in the Higher Education Academy Benchmarking Pilot, by the University of Manchester. Additional projects applying the eMM are underway supported by the Scottish Funding Council in Scotland and ACODE in Australia. Development and application of the eMM in New Zealand was supported by the New Zealand Ministry of Education Tertiary E-Learning Research Fund.
The key idea underlying the dimension concept is holistic capability. Rather than the eMM measuring progressive levels, it describes the capability of a process from these five synergistic perspectives. An organization that has developed capability on all dimensions for all processes will be more capable than one that has not. Capability at the higher dimensions that is not supported by capability at the lower dimensions will not deliver the desired outcomes; capability at the lower dimensions that is not supported by capability in the higher dimensions will be ad hoc, unsustainable and unresponsive to changing organizational and learner needs.
Capability in each process is described by a set of practices organised by dimension.
The eMM supplements the CMM concept of maturity levels, which describe the evolution of the organisation as a whole, with dimensions. The five dimensions of the eMM are: