ERIC Number: ED402800
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995
Reference Count: N/A
Benchmarking in Higher Education: Adapting Best Practices To Improve Quality. ERIC Digest.
Alstete, Jeffrey W.
This digest discusses the use of benchmarking as a strategy for assessing and improving efficiency and productivity of administrative processes and instructional models in colleges and universities. Benchmarking, developed by the Xerox Corporation in the 1980s, is defined as an ongoing, systematic process for measuring and comparing the work processes of one organization to those of another, by bringing an external focus to internal activities and functions. A four-step methodology for benchmarking is described as including (1) planning a study, (2) conducting the research, (3) analyzing the data, and (4) adapting the findings to the home institution. Four kinds of benchmarking are identified and discussed: internal, competitive, functional/industry, and generic or best-in-class. The selection of the benchmarking type depends on the processes being analyzed, and the availability of data and expertise at the institution. The applications for this methodology of assessment in higher education and the criticisms which the method has met with in the academic setting are addressed. The current uses of benchmarking in higher education, as undertaken by such organizations as the National Association of College and University Business officers, the Association for Continuing Higher Education, graduate business schools, and independent institutions are reviewed. The digest provides recommendations for institutions interested in undertaking a benchmarking study. (PRW)
Descriptors: Administrative Change, Benchmarking, College Outcomes Assessment, Comparative Analysis, Educational Administration, Educational Assessment, Educational Quality, Evaluation Methods, Evaluation Research, Higher Education, Operations Research, Program Evaluation, Program Improvement, Research Methodology
ERIC Clearinghouse on Higher Education, One Dupont Circle, N.W., Suite 630, Washington, DC 20036-1183 ($1).
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Higher Education, Washington, DC.; George Washington Univ., Washington, DC. Graduate School of Education and Human Development.