This paper reports on a case study of the e-learning production unit at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. Phase 1 of the study, completed in 2003, was the design and development of a process-based quality management system for web-supported learning (WSL) using a basic ISO 9000 approach (University of Pretoria, 2003). The second phase, reported in this paper, investigated what factors directly affect the quality of the web-supported learning opportunities (products) produced.
A taxonomy of critical success factors for quality web-supported learning was derived from a comparative analysis of the literature. It was refined and validated by critical colleagues within the case study. It has three components: underlying assumptions and exogenous factors; refined taxonomy of factors in six categories; graphic interpretation based on Ingwersen’s (1996) model of information retrieval.
The taxonomy emphasizes the dynamic nature of the teaching and learning process and non-negotiable factors such as staff and student training, technical support, accessibility and reliability of the technology.