BENVIC was a methodology for benchmarking e-learning developed under an EU project, also called BENVIC (in full, Benchmarking of Virtual Campuses) in the era 1999-2001. There is a project web site still at http://www.benvic.odl.org/ – but it has not been updated since February 2002. The BENVIC consortium was led by UOC, the Open University of Catalonia and had a strong set of partners (including University College London in the UK). However, for various reasons including retirement of key staff the work does not seem to have continued – or least web searches indicate that follow-up work is not evident. The methodology does not now seem to be in active use.
The BENVIC system had eight core meta-indicators. These are:
- Learner Services
- Learning Delivery
- Learning Development
- Teaching Capability
- Technical Capability
- Institutional Capability
All of them, with the exception of Accessibility, are the kind of top-level groupings that one finds in other methodologies. UK readers should also note that Accessibility does not mean only the narrow sense of SENDA but also covers many aspects of Widening Participation.
Each of these eight meta-indicators is associated with a range of assessment measurements (indicators) which enables BENVIC users to carry out an initial benchmarking diagnostic. The assessment measurements are comprised of three types:
- structural measurements
- practice measurements
- performance measurements.
There are in total 72 structural and practice indicators – which is rather more than in many systems but less than some others. Whether or not this is an issue depends crucially on how difficult it is to score these indicators and whether they are all "compulsory".
Indicators (other than the performance ones which are metrically based, i.e. numeric) are scored on a scale of 0-2. Many other systems use a scale of 1-5, but one could use a natural mapping of 0 to 1, 1 to 3, and 2 to 5.
Relevance to UK HE
The BENVIC scheme is regarded as a contribution to the Criterion Bank. In other words, it can provide suggestions for criteria to be added as new supplementary criteria to the Pick&Mix or ELTI methodologies. It should also provide suggestions for criteria to institutions using the MIT90s approach. However, it does not seem as though any Phase 1 organisations took suggestions from BENVIC on board.
- There is a more detailed analyis of BENVIC on the web, dated June 2006.
- This has now been updated (September 2006) to take into account the needs of the Criterion Bank and methodologies other than Pick&Mix - see the report BENVIC to Pick&Mix concordance and implications