CAMEL: Collaborative Management of e-Learning

The CAMEL Tangible Benefits of E-Learning Project aimed to collate and share the tangible and real benefits to staff, learners and institutions of e-learning, through a discipline- and academic department focus by using the CAMEL model devised by JISC infoNet and ALT (Association for Learning Technology). Its objectives were to produce: up to 16 institutional case studies, with a wide range of subject discipline focus, which identify tangible benefits of e-learning; also to report on the CAMEL evaluation workshops, which aimed to identify any real or perceived weaknesses or threats of e-learning. The final outputs are 37 case studies from 16 institutions, so the project has exceeded its original case study target. The case studies were produced on a password-protected wiki, and conclusions from each study were drawn together into a final report for the HE community.

In this context, tangible benefits included:

  • Actual savings in cost, time or resource for an institution;
  • Significant improvements in student learning (e.g. assessment performance, pass rates);
  • Significant improvement in student satisfaction with the learning process;
  • Significant improvement in retention rates of an institution;
  • Significant improvement in staff satisfaction with, and enthusiasm for, teaching;
  • Significant improvement in staff's ability to deliver learning;
  • Significant improvement in staff performance more generally;
  • Increased performance towards institutional strategic targets (e.g. recruitment, retention, widening participation targets, space usage, computer availability, room allocation etc.) through the use of ICT.

The role of the Subject Centres was to co-ordinate partner institutions who would draw upon their own experiences to produce the case studies, and Economics was represented by the Universities of Exeter, Birmingham and Coventry. A 2-day workshop was held at the end of the project to aid in the final draft of case studies, and JISC infoNet are exploring a number of ways to make the case studies availabe from outside the project wiki. The outcomes of this short project were very revealing in terms of known and implicit benefits of e-learning. For more on the background to the CAMEL project, please see the section on the JISC infoNet site. This reflects the original CAMEL model, which was adapted for our present project.