The European quality benchmark for online, open and flexible education

Process of review


The procedure will start with a self assessment exercise.


Phase 1: Self-assessment

The institution analyses the status of their e-learning practices using the electronic ‘self evaluation instrument’ (quickscan). It operates as an open on-line questionnaire. The on-line questionnaire needs to be filled out by different disciplines in the university coming from management, course designers, tutors and students. It is therefore recommended to build a small team of people that correspond with these disciplines. The result of the self assessment is an overview of weaknesses and strengths which leads to a roadmap of improvement. With the help of the E-xcellence manual, the institution is guided in formulating this roadmap and finding good practices as inspiration.


Phase 2: External review

To test your self-assessment and worked out roadmap for improvement, the E-xcellence instrument involves e-learning experts in a review team. These are groups of 3 evaluators that review digitally submitted papers of the university’s self-assessment with the E-xcellence quick scan, copies of documented proof and an outlined improvement route provided by the university. The review is based on:

    • current e-learning performance;
    • the thoroughness of the self-assessment report;
    • completeness of delivered proof;
    • the chosen path of improvement (adequate and realistic).

The procedure includes the integration of (most) of the E-xcellence benchmarks in the internal quality assurance system. The review team provides:

    • review report;
    • recommendations regarding the improvement route;
    • instructions for cases that need to provide further details. 

This is send to EADTU for being summarized and processed in a standardized format of reply. Optional is still the full assessment on-site, with local oriented recommendations of improvement by the review team.


Phase 3: Incentives for follow up

Benchmarking should be a continuous process of improvement and support universities in their goal of increasing quality. To stimulate universities to follow a path of continuous improvement of their e-learning performance the label needs to be renewed every three years, when a new self-assessment and path of improvement is presented. It therefore is actually rewarding continued quality improvement. 
As indicated before, the procedure includes the integration of (most) of the E-xcellence benchmarks in the internal quality assurance system. This to show that the tool is integral part of the internal assessment rather than an single assessment, and therefore taken as a reference every three years.
The label is provided by the E-xcellence review team and can be used on the institutions or faculty’s website. All positively reviewed institutions/faculties are also displayed at the E-xcellence website.


Phase 4 (optional): Virtual Benchmarking Community

A supplementary option offered as an extension to the benchmarking process of E-xcellence is the “E-xcellence Virtual Community: Associates in Quality”. In line with the principle of benchmarking, “members” are peer reviewers of fellow-members. This by blogs, discussion forums, flash meeting etc. Universities labelled as E-xcellence Associates have (as an option) access to this virtual meeting place on quality in e-learning. It is about sharing challenges and strengths by building networked meetings of improvement. It is a place to find expertise as well as present your own expertise. The topics are organised by benchmarks to guide you easily to your roadmap related issues.