Discussing the article: Klemenčič, M. and Ashwin, P. (2015) What’s next for Europe? Inside Higher Ed, May 26
Tony Bates writes:
The third objective is to improve the quality of teaching and learning in universities and colleges. The authors note that it is surprising that it has taken so long for this to emerge as a priority for this first time at the Armenia conference:
..the quality of teaching and learning is far from satisfactory and varies significantly across European systems and institutions…the majority of countries do not have a strategy for the advancement of teaching and learning or specific structures to support it. At best, higher education institutions are developing their own units for supporting excellence in teaching and learning or funding teaching development programs. At worse, higher education teachers are left to their own devices to improve their teaching (or not) when alerted by the outcomes of student satisfaction surveys.
Authors: Ebba Ossiannilsson, Keith Williams, Anthony F. Camilleri, and Mark Brown
State of the art and recommendations
This study carried out on behalf of the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) is for: institutional leaders responsible for quality in online, open and flexible higher education faculty wanting to have an overview of the field newcomers that want to develop...
At a Ministerial meeting today in Yerevan, Armenia, the European Higher Education Area adopted the revised Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance (ESG) (opens in new window).
Anthony McClaran, Chief Executive of QAA, is part of the UK delegation. He said: ‘The Yerevan Communique sets out a renewed vision for higher education in the 47 countries of the EHEA, and the future of the Bologna process through which compatibility of quality and standards in higher education across the EHEA is being embedded.
‘The Communique adopts the new standards and guidelines which shape quality assurance across higher education in Europe. They are clearer and better structured, and the section on providers’ own internal quality assurance makes a more explicit link to learning and teaching. There is also more definition on how quality assurance relates to developments in qualifications frameworks and learning outcomes.
'For quality assurance agencies, there is more emphasis on involving stakeholders in agencies’ governance and also in the design of review methods. QAA was the only agency judged to be fully compliant with the previous ESG, and we look forward to engaging fully with the new guidelines from now on.’
EUA has launched the Trends 2015 report, which presents the universities’ perceptions of the changes that have taken place in European higher education over the past five years, particularly in relation to learning and teaching. Based on survey responses of 451 higher education institutions from 46 countries (48 higher education systems), the report outlines the changing context in which higher education institutions operate.
The quality of learning and teaching is receiving increased attention and support by the academic staff and the institutional leadership. As examples, 60% have a centralised unit for pedagogical staff development, and 63% have institution-wide quality assurance policies and processes. The implementation of learning outcomes has continued to progress since 2010, with 64% of institutions responding that these have been introduced for all courses. Institutions are generally positive about the benefits of learning outcomes. It is clear, however, that in many institutions their implementation appears to have taken place without changing in radical ways how curricula, including examinations, are developed. Therefore this area is still a work in progress.
The Centre for Justice is suing Mälardalen University College on behalf of a US student whose course allegedly did not match the level of quality promised.
It is the first case of its kind since tuition fees were brought in for university students from outside of the European Union in 2011.
The student, Connie Dickinson, is seeking repayment of SEK182,500 (US$22,000) for tuition fees paid for MA studies in Analytical Finance in 2011-12.
The course was taught in English for Swedish and international students and marketed as being of “very high quality”.
But, according to Dickinson, the professors had poor English skills making communication difficult, there were not enough computers for parts of the course, the room was too crowded and the professors were not very helpful in their contact with the student. Several times she raised these issues with the college, but to no avail.
eCampusAlberta is committed to ensuring that its quality practices match or exceed current good practice in the post-secondary education sector. This eToolkit is designed to support post-secondary institutions in the design, creation, and assessment of quality online courses.
By Javiera Atenas (University College London) & Leo Havemann (Birkbeck, University of London)
Quality in open contexts
In a trajectory that did not simply begin from MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW), via Open Educational Resources (OER), and latterly arrive at a promised land of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), a plethora of institutions, organisations and individuals have attempted through various and numerous interventions to ‘open up’ the education landscape to a wider range of travellers, inhabitants and tourists. And in a way, the question of quality has always dogged open education’s steps. Would open universities attract ‘quality’ students? Would open resources and courses be of good enough quality, and how could we be sure? Open, it seemed, might pose a threat to quality, or at least place a question mark over it. Yet, as openness has gained traction, it has also been suggested that quality might be bolstered and supported through the wisdom of crowds.
One of the problems faced by advocates of open education is a widespread perception of that commercially published materials are quality materials, and that unpublished, open materials may not be. Some may even suspect open resources are simply those which are ‘not good enough to publish’. For an alternative perspective it is worth considering the case of Wikipedia, one of the world’s most used websites, which can indeed be seen as a vast open educational resource. Wikipedia has certainly had its detractors in academia, on the basis that anyone can write and edit Wikipedia articles. This suspicion persists, in the face of academic studies that suggest the overall accuracy of Wikipedia is about as good as that of published encyclopaedias, while at the same time it provides a vastly wider coverage of topics, and in spite of evidence that shows ‘abuse’ (maliciously updating articles with false information) is usually very rapidly corrected[i].
The U.S. Justice Department has reached a settlement with edX, the prominent MOOC provider, to bring it in compliance with federal antidiscrimination laws.
According to the terms of the agreement, edX will make its website and learning management system fully accessible to the disabled within 18 months; ensure that the system used to create online courses is also accessible within 18 months; and create two new positions to oversee accessibility, among other things. As part of the agreement, edX denied it was not in compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act.
Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which created edX in 2012, were sued in February by the National Association of the Deaf, which claimed the colleges’ online materials didn’t provide closed captioning, among other services.
Building the foundations of quality teaching and learning I have now completed and published Chapter 11, ‘Ensuring quality teaching in a digital age‘, for my online open textbook, Teaching in a Digital Age.’ Unlike earlier chapters, I have not...
The aim of this chapter is to provide some practical guidelines for teachers and instructors to ensure quality teaching in a digital age. Before I can do this, however, it is necessary to clarify what is meant by ‘quality’ in education, because I am using ‘quality’ here in a very specific way.
Probably there is no other topic in education which generates so much discussion and controversy as ‘quality’. Many books have been written on the topic, but I will cut to the chase and give my definition of quality up-front. For the purposes of this book, quality is defined as:
teaching methods that successfully help learners develop the knowledge and skills they will require in a digital age.
Submit your Proposals by Wednesday, April 8 for the 7th Annual QM Conference on Quality Assurance in Online Learning being held at the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter! Go West, QMers!
If you submit your proposals by Friday, March 6, you'll receive early decision notification AND a discount of $100 on the regular presenter rate. You will receive an e-mail with information about returning to your proposal to make changes once you've submitted it.
Ministry of Higher Education ensures standards and quality
Abu Dhabi: The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research has approved the list of e-learning universities to ensure the quality of higher education opportunities available to students in the UAE.
A list of 105 higher education institutions, which use the e-learning (non-traditional) teaching method, has been announced as recommended institutions for students in the UAE.
The list includes five universities in New Zealand, 46 in the UK, 34 in the US and 20 in Australia.
“The new e-learning programmes were not accredited before in the UAE; however, Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, issued a resolution earlier regarding the regulation of electronic higher education,” Saif Al Mazroui, assistant undersecretary of institutional and support services at the ministry, told Gulf News.
The resolution’s regulations depend on the management of the educational process interactively through the use of various modern technologies and the learner’s participation and interaction with the teacher and the course content.
“The students who are willing to undertake undergraduate or postgraduate studies online at one of these universities should make sure that they follow the interactive e-learning teaching method, but not distance education including open education, affiliation or correspondence,” he added.
The ministry has also affirmed that the higher education institution should be recognised by the ministry, the curriculum must be accredited by accreditation authorities in the country of study, and the minimum duration of study in the electronic e-learning programme is not less than the period spent in traditional education programmes. The programme cannot be specifically designed for a particular category.
“A pre-approval from the ministry should also be obtained by students before enrolling to guarantee the ministry’s accreditation,” Al Mazroui said.
Several years of negotiations between Quality Matters and a leading Chinese higher education institution, Fudan University, culminated in a series of meetings in Shanghai held May 12 – 16 between senior administrators and faculty at Fudan and QM representatives to sign a cooperative agreement and inaugurate a long-term relationship. The agreement aims to develop a rubric for online and blended course design, based on the QM Higher Education Rubric, Fifth Edition, but adapted to Chinese pedagogy and culture, and to disseminate the co-owned Adapted Rubric throughout China’s higher education community.
This paper describes the E-xcellence methodology for the quality assurance of e learning.
Authors: Kear, Karen; Williams, Keith and Rosewell, Jonathan
It outlines the E-xcellence process, and describes the main supporting resources: a set of 35 benchmarks, a quality manual and the ‘Quickscan’ self-assessment tool. The manual expands on the 35 benchmark statements, offering performance indicators and supporting discussion.
The Quickscan is available online and is intended for use as an initial self-assessment. A key part of the E-xcellence approach is the ‘local seminar’. This is a collaborative workshop where an interdisciplinary team of staff from a higher education institution discuss the quality of their e learning with visiting expert assessors.
The paper describes the processes involved in the local seminars and discusses their value to participants. We conclude that the E-xcellence methodology, and in particular the local seminars, provide valuable opportunities for reflection and discussion among staff with different roles, supported by visiting experts. This collaborative approach helps higher education institutions to review their e learning and plan for improvement.
Your Questions is based on the enquiries that QAA has received, between 2013-15, about the Quality Code and the topics that it covers.
p. 45 - Online learning Relevant components of the Quality Code: Chapter B3: Learning and Teaching
1 I'm a higher education researcher and would like to know whether there is any specific reference material within the Quality Code relating to online learning.
The Quality Code does not single out particular forms of learning or delivery on which to provide specific guidance, but operates at a higher level of principle.
Learning and teaching in general, including e-learning, is covered by Chapter B3; but other chapters would also be relevant (for example, Chapter B6: Assessment of Students and the Recognition of Prior Learning).
Quality Assurance for OER : Current State of the Art and the TIPS Framework. Author(s): Paul Kawachi
Students as evaluators of open educational resources. Author(s): Vivien Rolfe
Student’s Quality perception and learning outcomes when using an open accessible eLearning-resource. Author(s): Kerstin Bissinger
An Assessment-Recognition Matrix for Analysing Institutional Practices in the Recognition of Open Learning. Author(s): Gabi Witthaus, Bernard Nkuyubwatsi, Grainne Conole, Andreia Inamorato dos Santos, Yves Punie
Peer-review Platform for Astronomy Education Activities. Author(s): Pedro Russo, Thilina Heenatigala, Edward Gomez, Linda Strubbe
Seven features of smart learning analytics - lessons learned from four years of research with learning analytics. Author(s): Martin Ebner, Behnam Taraghi, Anna Saranti, Sandra Schön
Quality assurance in online learning: The contribution of computational linguistics analysis to criterion referenced assessment. Author(s): Lyn Goldberg, Alison Canty
A review of UK transnational education (TNE) delivered by UK universities offering programmes in the Caribbean, has provided an insight into distance learning delivery overseas, says a new report by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA).
Many UK universities offering higher education programmes overseas do so by opening a branch campus and employing local staff. The challenges they face are providing a learning environment and facilities which match those experienced by their students based in the UK.
In contrast, QAA's review of UK TNE in the Caribbean found that most UK transnational higher education is offered through supported distance learning because of the flexibility it offers to part-time working professionals.
UK universities delivering programmes in Trinidad and Tobago do so through distance learning which takes one of two forms: students may learn from home, supported remotely by the UK provider; or local in-country staff, working in partnership with the UK university, may provide additional academic assistance. Both models offer advantages for different types of learners.
Two studies have been published to stimulate thinking and discussion to contribute to the review of future approaches to quality assessment in higher education being undertaken by HEFCE, together with the funding bodies in Wales and Northern Ireland. The Quality Assessment Review discussion document published in January asks important questions of higher education providers, of students, of employers, and of other stakeholders about what quality assessment arrangements should be like in the future.
We hope that these studies will prompt reflection on cross-sector themes and issues, and highlight innovative practices that might, with appropriate redesign, be effective within our own future quality assessment system. We are not seeking formal responses to these two studies but would welcome reflections on the issues raised in responses to our Quality Assessment Review discussion document.
International comparator study to inform the quality assessment review in England, Wales and Northern Ireland
This study provides an account of approaches to assessment of academic standards and quality in three competitor countries. It considers quality assurance approaches in Norway, the United States and Australia, and focuses on issues such as the role of audit and reporting, the burden of different approaches, and the role of outcomes-based approaches.
Approaches to regulation in other UK sectors
This study presents a thematic analysis of regulatory approaches in other UK sectors: advertising, qualifications, financial services, accountancy and audit. Key areas addressed include regulatory approaches, enabling innovation, international and information issues.
Monday 9 March 2015 at Jozef Stefan Institute, Slovenia
The event is part of a series of ‘SEQUENT Consultation Sessions’ being held around Europe, with the aim of informing educational organisations, particularly QA Agencies and Higher Education Institutions about the latest developments in Quality Assurance of online, distance and open learning, as well as more general innovations in education which may affect quality.
In particular, the events will cover:
Quality Assurance of Open, Flexible and Distance EducationQuality Assurance of Open Education and in particular Open Educational Resources and MOOCs within the main OFDL paradigmPolicy Support for Open and Distance Education Initiatives in the Western Balkans
The 4th annual international conference on “Learning Innovations and Quality” (LINQ 2015) has announced its first keynotes and invited speakers for its event from 11-13 May 2015 in Brussels. Officer-in-Charge for the UNESCO Institute for IT in Education (IITE) Dr. Alexander Khoroshilov, Deputy Head of the European Commission's Unit on Innovation in Education Mr. Bodo Richter, and Senior Researcher at the European Commission Institute for Prospective Technological Studies Dr. Yves Punie will address this year's conference theme "The Need for Change in Education: Openness as Default?"
Dr. Alexander Khoroshilov brings his experience as inventor of the ICT Competence Framework for Teachers (ICT CFT), implemented internationally. His experiences gained as both Officer-in-Charge for UNESCO IITE and as the UNESCO IITE National Programme Officer provide him with unique insight into processes of certification and the transfer of competences across national borders.
Mr. Bodo Richter has gathered over a decade of experience working for the European Commission, including the European Institute of Innovation and Technology. Before becoming the Deputy Head of Unit there, Richter was responsible for international education and training policy development with industrialised countries, in particular the EU-US and EU-Canada cooperation agreements as well as the cooperation programmes with Australia and New Zealand.
Dr. Yves Punie leads research and policy activities on “ICT for Learning, Skills and Open Education" at the European Commission Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (JRC IPTS). His research covers four main interrelated research strands across all educational sectors: Open Education and OER, Innovating Learning and Teaching, Key Competences and 21st century skills, and the Future of Learning.
Their contributions to LINQ 2015 will ensure a strong basis for discussion regarding the developing global role of open educational resources and practices as well as the management of their quality. To join them, authors or project representatives still have the opportunity to submit papers, project descriptions, or workshop proposals to the three LINQ Calls until 4 March 2015 and to register until 31 March 2015 to take advantage of the early-bird registration rate.
More information on the keynote and invited speakers of LINQ 2015 are available here:
For the latest information on the conference, please visit and like the LINQ Facebook page at www.facebook.com/LINQConference and follow LINQ on Twitter @LINQ_Conference.
Direct enquiries and full papers can be sent to the LINQ Conference Manager Mrs Tatiana Shamarina-Heidenreich at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany (Tatiana.Shamarina-Heidenreich@icb.uni-due.de).
Online distance education continues to grow at a fast pace, even outpacing the overall growth of U.S. higher education. Demands for quality are coming from all shareholders involved. As if caught by surprise, a patchwork response to quality is often the typical organizational response. The result can be inconsistent and uncoordinated levels of value to those invested in online learning. This often promotes negative images of the educational experience and institution.
Comprised of highly regarded experts in the field, this edited volume provides a comprehensive overview of quality assurance, a snapshot of current practices and proven recommendations for raising standards of quality in online education.
Topics discussed include:
* Improving practices for teaching online * Using educational analytics for quality assurance and improvement * Accessibility: An important dimension of quality assurance * Assuring quality in online course design * Assuring quality in learner support, academic resources, advising and counseling * The role and realities of accreditation
This text clearly answers the call for addressing quality from a broad, deep and coordinated understanding. It addresses the complexities of quality assurance in higher education and offers professionals top-shelf advice and support.
Sharing your scoops to your social media accounts is a must to distribute your curated content. Not only will it drive traffic and leads through your content, but it will help show your expertise with your followers.
How to integrate my topics' content to my website?
Integrating your curated content to your website or blog will allow you to increase your website visitors’ engagement, boost SEO and acquire new visitors. By redirecting your social media traffic to your website, Scoop.it will also help you generate more qualified traffic and leads from your curation work.
Distributing your curated content through a newsletter is a great way to nurture and engage your email subscribers will developing your traffic and visibility.
Creating engaging newsletters with your curated content is really easy.