I have chosen an online distance postgraduate course from a New Zealand university for this activity. I conducted an E-Learning Maturity Model (eMM) intuitive assessment of the processes L1, L2 and L3 restricted to the Delivery dimension. The university’s current eLearning approach is characterised by blended and distance learning approaches that provide flexible learning opportunities through a Learning Management System (LMS), particularly at postgraduate level.
Assessments of the Delivery dimension aim to determine how effectively the process outcomes are delivered within the institution. I have used the eMM capability assessment scale of: Not Adequate (NA); Partially Adequate (PA); Largely Adequate (LA); or Fully Adequate (FA).
The intuitive assessment results for each process in the category for the delivery dimension are:
L1. Learning objectives are apparent in the design and implementation of courses
LA – Formally stated learning objectives provided to a limited extent, either as narrative descriptions of the course outcomes or only in documentation
provided after enrolment.
LA – Most, but not all, assessments and learning activities contain explicit linkages to course learning objectives or restate learning objectives using different
LA – Most, but not all, assessments and learning activities contain explicit linkages to course learning objectives or restate learning objectives using different wording.
FA – Learning objectives formally and systematically address a range of student outcomes beyond the recall of information.
FA – Learning objectives are formally and systematically linked with course workload and assessment design and development.
Comments: The course has clearly defined learning outcomes, which are available online in pre-course documentation. The learning objectives refer to the assessment dimensions of Masters programmes. They emphasise critique and reflection, while the learning outcomes systematically refer to outcomes such as the ability to analyse, critically evaluate and apply.
L2. Students are provided with mechanisms for interaction with teaching staff and other students
FA – Interaction between staff and students provided formally through multiple complementary communication channels.
FA – Course documentation contains clear and consistently presented lists of teaching staff email addresses repeated in suitable places.
LA – Technical support is provided to students to assist them in making effective use of the available communication channels, but support is not actively promoted or provided to all students.
Comments: Interaction between tutors and students occurs in multiple mediums such as email, discussion forums and blog comments. Staff details appear on the LMS homepage, under course information and in list of participants. Technical support is available in terms of information on effective use of communication channels but support with technology issues is on an adhoc basis.
L3. Students are provided with e-learning skill development
FA – The relationships between all key course components and activities are conveyed to students formally and consistently.
LA – Formal opportunities for students to practice with e-learning technologies and pedagogies provided after commencement of courses, or only cover some technologies and pedagogies or some courses.
PA – E-learning skills support and training is provided informally and depends on the teaching staff skills and availability.
FA – Formal opportunities for feedback beyond the marks assigned for assessed work provided during all major course activities to all students.
Comments: There is a clear progression and link from teaching components to writing activities. Opportunities to practice with e-learning technologies are embedded formally in the course but support and training is provided informally online. There are formal opportunities to provide feedback on all activities via discussion forums and personal reflection.
Value judgement: The accuracy of the intuitive assessment is enhanced by clear and explicit documentation that is easily accessible on the LMS. However, the assessment is based on one course only and may not be representative of institutional practice. Some issues around accuracy may arise from a limited understanding of the characteristic statements for the Delivery dimension.
Disclaimer: This eMM assessment is based entirely on an intuitive assessment constructed on limited evidence and knowledge of the eLearning course in question, and completed purely as part of a formal course activity for EDEM630.
Marshall, S. (2007). E-Learning Maturity Model: Process descriptions [draft report]. Retrieved from http://learn.canterbury.ac.nz/mod/page/view.php?id=186287