New technologies have made massive changes in our way of life, including in education. Within the education field, the effects of technology touch almost every area of practice, including curricula, pedagogy, and assessment. What's more, it is changing the needs and expectations of learners. The traditional modes of teaching are not adequate to meet the needs of today's students in terms of the competencies and skills that they will need for the future.
The new normal of education is based on lifelong learning, open learning, and the use of open educational resources. Courses are expected to be participatory, collaborative, and supportive of distributed intelligences. In this new state of normal, new education providers are emerging that can provide new solutions for the needs of learners in the digital era.
Questions of Quality
In the framework of new modes of teaching and learning from new providers, one of the big questions is that of quality. Some of the questions that we wish to address at the conference and in the pre-conference dialogue include:
· How can we identify and assess high-quality new content when it is developing and changing so rapidly?
· Which tools and which online learning environments best support quality of learning?
· How can we be sure about the quality of the teaching approach or about the teacher's qualification and assessment?
· How can we develop a quality assurance mechanism that could ensure quality at all levels in formal, informal and non formal education?
· Does EU need to provide some specific quality standards/guidelines in order to have a common understanding of what is good quality in Education?
· What is the current state of Quality in Education in Europe?
· Is there a European policy regarding Quality in Education?
Quality Assurance in Europe
In the current European quality assurance landscape, the European Parliament and Council has adopted a resolution promoting the uses of the European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance (ESG). The ESG is implemented in member states through independent quality assurance agencies that are registered with the European Quality Assurance Register (EQAR) for higher education.
The European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) is an umbrella organisation which represents quality assurance organisations from the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) member states. ENQA promotes European co-operation in the field of quality assurance in higher education and disseminates information and expertise among its members and towards stakeholders in order to develop and share good practice and to foster the European dimension of quality assurance.
EQAVET is a community of practice bringing together Member States, Social Partners and the European Commission to promote quality assurance in vocational education and training. Two more important initiatives connected to quality in e-Learning and to Open Education are The European Foundation for Quality in e-Learning (EFQUEL) and Open Educational Quality (OPAL).
Join the discussion
There are numerous ways to join the debate. Your thoughts, opinions, and questions are welcome:
· On this website, visit the conference page
· On Facebook, join the group
· On Twitter, use the hashtags #EdDigEra_quality, #EdDigEra or #OpenEdu
Via QLET, Harvey Mellar, Julie Tardy, Mark E. Deschaine Ph.D.