Publication Details

This conference paper was originally published as Wills, S, Strategic Planning for Blended eLearning, in Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Information Technology Based Higher Education & Training, Sydney, July 2006. Original conference paper available here.


Although all Australian universities have University strategic plans and IT strategic plans, it is estimated that fewer than 20% have a separate plan for eLearning and eTeaching. The University of Wollongong has recently implemented a new Learner Management System however this technology ramp-up has been accompanied by a two year process of interviews and consultation with committees, deans, managers, academics, students and support staff to: • more clearly articulate from the educational and strategic perspectives why we use eLearning; • understand better how eLearning should be supported in a blended environment; and • inform decision-making about priorities for funding and support. This has resulted in a Strategic Plan for eLearning and eTeaching as well as an eTeaching Business Plan. The Business Plan contains 22 actions to accompany the implementation of the Learner Management System. In this paper, using a revision of the MIT90s framework for IT strategic planning, the 22 actions are categorized by the framework’s five key factors: • Strategy • Structure • Management processes • Roles and skills • Technology. The revised MIT90s framework proposes that it is never a matter of merely implementing technology, nor a matter of merely stating in a Strategic Plan that technology is important; all five factors must be addressed. This analysis of the University of Wollongong’s 22 actions demonstrates that whilst setting the strategy and structure is essential, the majority of actions are in the two areas of management processes, and roles and skills. Although a number of the actions are only relevant to the University of Wollongong context, the paper outlines several actions that may be generalized to other universities.