RRHEAL has commissioned a Quality Assurance Toolkit for distributed education delivery. The toolkit can be used to self assess or peer review the quality of the educational intervention developed. The aim is to provide advice and support for quality assuring education within a remote and rural setting.
The organisations representing quality assurance agencies as part of TeSLA project consortium have conducted an analysis of the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG) from the online teaching and learning perspective. The ESG are the basis for quality assurance in the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). They have …
A UK-wide, co-regulatory system is pitched by the QAA at its annual conference while Hefce focuses on changes needed for England's market regime
The higher education sector and politicians back a continued UK-wide quality system, the Quality Assurance Agency's chief executive has claimed in a speech to its annual conference.
The future of the QAA, which held its conference at the University of Birmingham last week, has been placed in question by a new operating model for quality assurance set in motion by the Higher Education Funding Council for England.
Hefce has put elements of work currently undertaken by the QAA out to competitive tender, with private firms such as Tribal and Capita said to have been approached to see if they would bid.
Speeches at the QAA conference from Douglas Blackstock, the QAA chief executive, and Susan Lapworth, Hefce director for regulation and assurance, considered future scenarios.
The third edition of the E-xcellence manual has been launched on 13 April 2016. This new edition includes additional material reflecting on new and recent trends: the rapid rise of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), a surge of interest in learning analytics, and an increasing use of learning design in a more systematic approach to the development of e-learning courses. A number of other topics that are not yet widespread have also been included, such as an increased focus on personalisation, flipped approaches to teaching, virtual and remote laboratories, digital badges and e-portfolios. The new manual can be downloaded here.
Mark Leach takes a first look at HEFCE's new Quality Asessment system and framework - which sets out a great change to the system. But is it too much or too little given the Government's own plan for quality and regulation in HE?
With the proliferation of online learning providers and the challenges presented by the distance education sector to state regulators and accrediting bodies, it is not surprising that “buyer beware” is the watchword for students, institutions, and public agencies alike. In the current environment, it is incumbent on organizations to demonstrate the quality of their services in ways that are intelligible to potential students and their employers, faculty and staff, regulators, and government agencies. The admirable attempts to define quality standards and best practices for online education have done little to assuage the skepticism of representatives in the academy, who are more accustomed to face-to-face delivery directed to bounded communities. Fully addressing the roots of such skepticism is beyond the scope of this paper; however, its presence informs much of the technical discussion around quality assurance frameworks in higher education in general, and in online delivery in particular.
2/24/16 At the 2016 EFMD Conference for Deans & Directors General in Budapest hosted by the Corvinus University of Budapest, EFMD officially launched EOCCS – EFMD Online Course Certification System. Prof. Eric Cornuel, Director General & CEO of EFMD, said: “EOCCS is a vital addition to the EFMD portfolio of quality services. It gives online courses within …
The story is out that the U.S. Department of Education’s inspector general is scrutinizing Western Governors University (WGU), the nation’s largest competency-based university and a high-quality innovator. The audit is likely around whether the faculty interaction with students at WGU is “regular and substantive” enough to meet the Higher Education Act’s requirement for distance education.
This is a waste of time and taxpayer money and only serves to slow down the innovation that is so sorely needed in higher education.
On the measures about which students, society, and government ought to care, WGU is an exemplar. The University has a record of good student outcomes that have improved over time. Those outcomes can be measured by everything from actual learning to job placement rates and employers’ satisfaction with the WGU graduates they hire. WGU is a disruptive innovator that has reduced costs dramatically to make a high-quality higher education within reach for many students who otherwise would not have access to college. And the University is consummately focused on actual student learning far more so than almost any other university in the world, as students only accumulate credits and move on when they demonstrate true mastery of a concept or skill, not based on the arbitrary measure of time that most of higher education responds to today.
How can quality be measured in digital learning?Can the same criteria of traditional e-learning be used to measure the quality of new learning scenarios, such as mobile learning, gamified solutions or MOOCs?What are the added values of an international community working on the topic of quality in digital learning?
These are only some of the questions that will be tackled during the MOOC.
The MOOC on Quality in Digital Learning will be implemented on behalf of the ECBCheck initiative involving experts from this community of international organisations, such as UNU, UNITAR, FAO, ITC-ILO, World Bank Institute and GIZ, among others. Subject-matter experts will provide input through webinars, videos and Q&A sessions, as well as by sharing relevant material. However, the crucial part of the MOOC is the involvement of participants by providing the opportunity to share their own resources and bring in individual expertise and experience. Exchanging ideas and opinions with peers and experts and co-creating new material which will be made available to the community are therefore essential elements of the MOOC.
Join us in Portland, Oregon October 30 - November 2, 2016 for the 8th Annual QM Conference on Quality Assurance in Online Learning.
Early-bird Registration will open April 27, 2016.
Share your knowledge, research and best practices with the QM Community!
The call for proposals is now open. Use our online system to submit your proposal or find out more about creating a winning proposal. Submit your proposal by Feb. 17 and if accepted, you'll receive $100 off the conference registration fee.
Following the launch of the QACHE Toolkit 'Cooperation in Cross-Border Higher Education', which we reported on in November last year, the final report of the Erasmus Mundus funded project Quality Assurance of Cross border Higher Education (QACHE) has now been published. Fabrizio Trifiro' from the UK's Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) provides an overview of the key findings and outcomes of the project, including policy recommendations to national and European policy makers.
Informed choice? How the United Kingdom’s key information set fails to represent pedagogy to potential students
DOI: 10.1080/13538322.2016.1153899 (Paywalled)
Helen Barefoot, Martin Oliver & Harvey Mellar
This paper explores the ways in which information about course pedagogy has been represented to potential students through national descriptors and specifications such as the United Kingdom’s Key Information Set. It examines the extent to which such descriptors provide helpful information about pedagogy, for example innovative uses of technology. The paper starts by exploring the wider context within which these descriptors have been developed, including a comparison of similar descriptions internationally. This is followed by a comparative analysis, in which two courses (one single honours undergraduate degree, one Massive Open Online Course) are classified and compared. This serves to illustrate the blind spots in classifications such as the Key Information Set. The paper concludes by arguing that further work is needed to develop classification schemes that both address explicitly the interests of potential students and are able to represent the pedagogic decisions that differentiate teaching in contemporary higher education.
As open education and eLearning mature and become mainstream across the world, the discussion on quality assurance emerges with a renewed importance, strength and impact in our field of practice. Although there are significant variations in how this topic is addressed in each regional context, there's an underlying feeling which is shared by all stakeholders. It relates to the urgency of establishing effective processes that positively discriminate appropriate practices in online learning, as not all that glitters is gold, to use the famous Shakespearian quote.
EDEN has always paid close attention to this discussion and has contributed throughout the years to the development of an European expertise in this topic. Most notably, the EDEN 2003 annual conference, held in Rhodes, and the EDEN RW6, which took place in Budapest, in 2010, both focusing specifically on the topic of quality assurance in open, distance and eLearning, were major milestones in the consolidation process of a European quality culture in open, distance and digital education.
In the current context and given the strategic importance of this discussion, EDEN has been called by the professional community to play an even more active and leading role in this discussion. We recognise the relevance of this movement and as a consequence, new significant initiatives related to the topic of quality will be announced in the coming months.
In today's post, I've invited my good friend Ebba Ossiannilsson, who is also a member of the Executive Committee and an EDEN Fellow to share with us her views on this very important discussion. Ebba is a well-known expert in the topic of quality assurance in open education and eLearning and has a large experience world-wide.
In her post, Ebba identifies the current trends and future challenges for quality assurance in our field and presents a brief conclusion of the study on quality models conducted in the framework of an initiative lead by our partner ICDE.
HEFCE has today published a revised operating model for quality assessment in higher education in England. It heralds the next phase of the Quality Assessment Review initiated by DELNI, HEFCE and HEFCW in October 2014 as part of each funding body’s statutory responsibility for quality assessment in higher education [Note 1].
The revised approach will come into effect in England from 2016-17.
A revised operating model for quality assessment
The revised approach to quality assessment is designed to be proportionate, risk-based and grounded in the mission and context of an individual university or college and the composition of its student body. It will target regulatory activity on those institutions that represent greater risk to the student interest or to the reputation of the sector.
Anthony F. Camilleri - Knowledge Innovation Centre Koper, 3 June 2015 The presentation centred around the idea that Higher Education has multiple functions and multiple forms of delivery, and that, depending which of these is i...
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM--(Marketwired - Feb. 23, 2016) - At the 2016 EFMD Conference for Deans & Directors General in Budapest hosted by the Corvinus University of Budapest, EFMD officially launched EOCCS - EFMD Online Course Certification System. Prof. Eric Cornuel, Director General & CEO of EFMD, said: "EOCCS is a vital...
The main phases of online course development cycle, in majority of instructional design models, follow Analysis > Design > Development > Implementation > Evaluation (ADDIE) model (most of the current instructional design models are spin-offs or variations of the ADDIE model). In the framework presented here and used at the Centre of Teaching, Learning and Technology, the course development happens in five Phases including Planning, Design/Development, Production, Implementation, and Evaluation (PDPIE). In each phase basic steps are illustrated and key/promising elements and required documents for a quality course are shared. The goals of this resource are to assist you to:
Build on your current instructional design skills/strategies and learn about online course development cycle.Improve the quality of your online course.Investigate and identify various effective promising practices and checklists for online course development and delivery.
Below are two checklists; one for course development phases and one for quality elements:
Online and Blended Course Quality Checklist
Online Course Development Checklist
Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)
Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is added to this resource as the recent development in the area of online learning carrying three key characteristics: 1) low cost or no cost, 2) open access 3) large-scale participation
Deb Adair | Managing Director and Chief Planning Officer, Quality Matters
Higher education is shifting toward using technology to help scale the delivery of personalized and customized experiences and implementing accountability measures to ensure quality to both internal and external stakeholders.
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