With the growing demand for quality online education in the US, developing quality online courses and online programs, and more importantly maintaining this quality, have been an inevitable concern for higher education institutes. Current literature on quality assurance in online education mostly focuses on the development of review models and frameworks as well as the development of review rubrics. The development of comprehensive models in addition to the valid and reliable quality assurance review rubrics is very important for the development of quality online courses and programs. However, it is also important to maintain this quality once the quality is attained. Factors such as increasing number of online courses, dynamic faculty body delivering these courses, and disruptive innovations in online education continue to make the ongoing maintenance of the quality of online education particularly challenging. This article presents the development and implementation processes of an electronic quality assurance review system for the scalable development of online courses in a regional university in the Midwest US. In particular, we will introduce the context of online course development in the university, present the reasons for developing such a system, outline the framework of the system, and present the implementation process of the system. Finally, we will discuss the future recommendations for our existing system. Our goal is to present our case as a guide to those higher education institutes which are responding to growing demand in quality online education.
Resource Development International (RDI), a leading independent provider of United Kingdom (UK) university qualifications by distance learning, and a subsidiary of Capella Education Company (NASDAQ:CPLA), has announced that it has been granted degree-awarding powers.
Taught degree-awarding powers (TDAP) are granted by the Privy Council, part of the UK government, following rigorous scrutiny by the UK's Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) for Higher Education.
RDI, which is based in Coventry, England, has a 24-year history of pioneering online distance learning. It is now able to develop its own degree programs to meet the growing UK and international demand for its affordable, flexible learning model.
The organization now plans to apply for university title and then launch a new UK online distance learning university -- one of only a few dedicated distance learning universities in the UK. The new online university will build on RDI's success in exporting UK university education overseas by offering increased provision for international students, as well as meeting growing demand from UK students.
"This is the culmination of 24 years of work to develop RDI into an organization that complements the UK campus university sector by providing students with affordable and flexible study choices," said Dr. Philip Hallam, chief executive of RDI. "Achieving degree-awarding powers is the result of rigorous scrutiny by the UK's Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) for Higher Education and demonstrates that RDI has met the high standards it requires in the UK university sector. We are now entering an exciting new phase in which we will apply for university title and develop our own programs to meet growing UK and international demand for our provision."
"RDI offers the flexible learning opportunities that are vital to so many students," said UK Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts. "The UK government is keen to encourage greater competition and diversity in higher education provision, and it is right that institutions like RDI, that have met the rigorous standards required, should be granted the power to award their own degrees."
Leading industry experts, amazing keynote speeches… 4 parallel sessions, including interactive workshops, paper sessions and project presentations – all designed and scheduled for you to discover how to achieve quality for opening up...
Dive Brief:The U.S. Department of Education’s proposed regulations for online education programs that operate across state lines could create a new headache for state regulators.New regulations would require the providers of online courses to obtain approval from every state they enroll students in. States would not be allowed to exempt an online educator from their formal review if that provider is accredited, which is now a common practice.Many state regulators say that requirement would unfairly burden them with a significant number of reviews, some of which would be for out-of-state institutions with only a few students in the regulator’s state.
Europe's E4 Group of leading higher education associations last week published a joint proposal for "Revised Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area", aimed at clearing up potential confusion and making a more direct link to the learning and teaching process.
The document focused on internal and external quality assurance as well as quality assurance agencies.
Recommendations include that institutions implement policies that should be made public and form part of their strategic management. Teaching standards were also covered: institutions should assure themselves of the competence of their lecturers, and have a fair and transparent process for recruiting and developing them.
Massive open online courses, or MOOCs, are free, open to all, online higher education courses. They offer higher education study by distance learning, with course information and resources available online.
In response to the growth in popularity and availability of MOOCs, QAA has published a statement that outlines how these courses relate to its review and enhancement activity.
QAA advises providers of higher education to use the Quality Code in developing all aspects of their programme offer, including MOOCs. The Quality Code is designed to be flexible, and its principles apply to all types of higher education provision.
QAA also commits to working with providers that currently offer MOOCs and those that may do so in the future in order to identify and share sound practice in quality assurance and enhancement.
The statement makes it clear that QAA does not currently formally scrutinise MOOCs in review activity, but that providers are welcome to cite any work in developing these courses in evidence provided to QAA as part of a review.
This website, developed as part of the Quest for Quality for Students project (QUEST), run by the European Students' Union (ESU), contains a set of resources and training materials that allows members of ESU's Students Experts' Pool on Quality Assurance to perform their role, student representatives to engage in activities related to the quality of higher education and enhances the student learning experience. It is also useful to staff members of institutions that deal with quality assurance of higher education to understand students' roles in these processes.
This website contains four sections to reach this purpose:
QA Student Experts - explains the function of ESU's Students Experts Pool and student involvement in quality assurance of higher education.
For students - explains the basics of quality assurance in general and provides tips for lively activity exercises, such as debates and games.
For institutions - is directed at institutional staff and explains the benefits of including students in quality assurance and enhancement.
The library - contains important information and reading material related to the topic, including publications that have been released as part of the QUEST project and a glossary of useful terms.
New Zealand’s eLearning guidelines (eLg) enter a new era this week with the launch of the updated and expanded guidelines to better support eLearning decision-making in the tertiary sector.
The guidelines support individuals and organisations wanting to develop or enhance their online teaching and learning. The 2014 eLg also consider new technologies developed since the guidelines were first established in 2004. This is supported by the launch of a new eLg website, which provides an interactive platform for people interested in engaging with the comprehensive material, and those keen to contribute to its future development.
The revamped guidelines now consider technology-supported teaching and learning from five different perspectives, with organisational leaders and quality assurance bodies joining the existing learner, teacher and manager perspectives.
In this workshops participants are asked to either bring ideas on projects and initiatives for open education (course design, open text books, etc.) or the willingness to join in or provide constructive feedback on the ideas of peers.
Butcher, N. and Wilson-Strydom, M. (2013) A Guide to Quality in Online Learning Dallas TX: Academic Partnerships
Butcher, N. and Hoosen, S. (2014) A Guide to Quality in Post-traditional Online Higher Education Dallas TX: Academic Partnerships
With Stamenka Uvalić-Trumbić and Sir John Daniel editors of both publications, Academic Partnerships has sponsored and published these two guides to quality in online learning, the 2013 publication focusing on formal higher education and the 2014 publication focusing on ‘post-traditional’ higher education.
Whether a rapidly changing higher education world needs a single set of quality standards was a major topic of debate at a meeting of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation's International Quality Group, or CIQG, held in Washington DC. There was some consensus around developing global standards that are able to articulate with strong national quality systems.
Peter Okebukola, president of the Global University Network for Innovation - Africa, and a member of the CIQG advisory council, summed up the discussion this way:
"The overall essence, whether national, regional or composite international standards, is to ensure that the higher education system in terms of its processes and products reflects the aspirations and socio-cultural context of the community which the system serves while recognising the increasingly global nature of higher education delivery."
The rapid growth of online academic programs in higher education has prompted institutions to develop processes and implement strategies to ensure the quality of their online offerings. Although there is no one-size-fits-all approach, there are quality standards that institutions can effectively implement regardless of context. This paper examines the approaches of three different types of institutions in addressing quality assurance in online education on their respective campuses. Specifically, this paper presents three case studies and describes each institution’s (1) background and overview, (2) definition of quality, (3) general approach to quality assurance, (4) models and strategies, (5) goals, (6) successes, (7) challenges, and (8) lessons learned. A comparison reveals that despite differences in scope, size, location, mission, and extent of online development, there is consistency in the institutions’ strategies to addressing quality assurance in online learning.
We would be better off to talk about Excellence in e-Learning, or my preferred term of Excellence in e-Education. The other thing that the chart illustrates is that most quality standards tend to aim at the large middle section – which is indicative of being good enough, rather than excellent. It’s really not that high a bar. My suggestion is that you stop talking about Quality, and start talking about Excellence.
The university that I work at just purchased an institutional membership to the Quality Matters (QM) Program. If you are not familiar with QM, it's basically a quality assurance program for online courses that is faculty-centered, ...