Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are an example of a disruptive technology and are clearly innovative in terms of scale and the level of heated discussion around whether or not they are innovative pedagogically. Academic and mainstream press covering the phenomenon is divided as to whether MOOCs will be valuable to hundreds or thousands of participants. Within this editorial we give a short introduction to the topic of the special issue “Quality in MOOCs” as well as to the contributions, along with the papers related to the INNOQUAL journal’s permanent themes.
From Peter Condon's blogThe Rules of e-Learning: Never Compromise on Quality I have seen numerous questions and comments on Linkedin from Instructional Designers, L&D professionals, Trainers, Teachers and others about the diminishing quality of e-learning. We have a multitude of quality standards for e-learning - sometimes I think there are too many! There seem to be equally large numbers of organisations that propose, support and champion e-learning quality. Yet so many discussions, blogs and other comments bring up the poor quality of e-learning, I have to wonder about the efficacy of the current provision and support for quality in e-learning.
The Rules of e-Learning: Be sure of the Quality of your e-Learning
Warning: this particular blog in this series points you to an area that many will not wish to discuss. The advantages of this are that, if you follow the suggestions here, you will have greater knowledge than many of your colleagues and can help them to produce e-learning to be proud of. The disadvantages only apply if you are one of those who do not like to discuss anything other than making e-learning as quickly as possible. Because quality is so important, I am going to put the summary first (it is normally at the end of each blog) Summary:
Make sure you are not the only one to judging quality before the course is launched. You certainly won’t be the only one after the course is launched!
This meaningless pursuit of 'quality' is transforming academics into part-time administrators
Administrators in universities used to be people who would support academics in their role. Now it feels increasingly as if the administrative machine follows Parkinson's law, not only creating more work for themselves (under the guise of quality monitoring) but also more work for people who entered academia.
Strategic planning at every level used to be the responsibility of people who had already gained the trust and respect of their peers in teaching and/or research. Now, I see an increasing number of people who have no noteworthy research and supervision experience, who switch to administration, and are then put in charge of teaching, research and supervision committees.
The holy grail of all this administrative work is "quality". Quality monitoring, quality reporting, quality measuring, Office of Quality and so forth – this is the name of the new deity. I am afraid however, that all this paperwork suffocates its own raison d'être. All of these monitoring mechanisms are geared to measure activity, but not quality.
The Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric, Fifth Edition, 2014 is a set of 8 general standards and 43 specific standards used to evaluate the design of online and blended courses. The Rubric is complete with annotations that explain the application of the standards and the relationship among them. A scoring system and set of online tools facilitate the evaluation by a team of reviewers.
Unique to the Rubric is the concept of alignment. This occurs when critical course components - Learning Objectives (2), Assessment and Measurement (3), Instructional Materials (4), Course Activities and Learner Interaction (5), and Course Technology (6) - work together to ensure students achieve desired learning outcomes. Specific standards included in Alignment are indicated in the Rubric annotations.
We’re currently working with several partners to design and run an open online course aimed at creating a better understanding of quality in e-learning. As part of this process EFQUEL facilitated a workshop 16 July at our new Brussels office. The workshop’s aims were to agree on course content, learning objectives, learning activities as well as assigning roles and creating an action plan. The development of this course is in collaboration with partners in the following projects: OEI (Open Educational Ideas), EMMA (European Multi Mooc Aggregator), SEQUENT and HoTEL (HOlistic approach to Technology Enhanced Learning). In line with our open philosophy all course development is freely shared and we welcome external contributions. You can contribute to the initiative by adding your suggestions in this document. - See more at: http://efquel.org/efquel-mooc-on-e-learning-quality/#sthash.TBZUeNEs.sq5ceom5.dpuf
The proposal for the revised version of the “Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area” (ESG) was discussed at the Bologna Follow-up Group (BFUG) meeting on 9-10 April in Athens, Greece. Following discussions at the meeting, the ESG Steering Group was asked to produce written proposals on how the suggested changes might be integrated into the revised ESG and to carry out a survey targeting the BFUG members to gain an understanding of the level of consensus on the proposed changes. This survey has now been completed and the outcome was discussed by the ESG Steering Group at a meeting in Brussels on 25 June. The revised draft will be submitted to the BFUG Secretariat for discussion at the next BFUG meeting in Rome on 18-19 September. We remain hopeful that the Ministers responsible for higher education will adopt the revised ESG at the Bologna Ministerial conference in Yerevan, Armenia in 2015.
This eRubric can be used to self-assess eLearning projects using the eCampusAlberta Essential Quality Standards 2.0. For each of the standards, you will be able to "Enter Answers" to score your eLearning projects. When you click on "Enter Answers" to begin using the eRubric for the first time you will be prompted to set up a user account. You can either set up a short-term Guest Account which will be available for 7 days, or sign up for a long-term personal account.
Collection and Semantic Analysis of Real-Time Student Feedback
Annapolis, MD and Santa Clara, CA (June 26, 2014) – DropThought and Quality Matters (QM) announce their collaborative partnership to advance research on the online student experience. QM offers faculty-centered, continuous improvement models for assuring the quality of online courses through peer review and is looking to determine the effects of quality design on the student experience in online courses. Enabled by DropThought’s Instant Feedback platform and semantic analysis capabilities, QM invites its subscribing, higher education institutions to join the study, Hearing the Student Voice: Semantic Analysis of Student Course Feedback Aligned to Quality Matters General Standards. More information about this groundbreaking study can be found on the QM website.
“For students, their experience in an online course matters to them in ways that affect more than just grades. By collaborating with DropThought, we can benefit from their expertise and leverage their sophisticated tools to better understand how student experience relates to QM’s research-based standards designed into the students’ courses,” says Deb Adair, Managing Director and Chief Planning Officer of Quality Matters.
While I cannot possibly compare the relative ease and comfort of working as a quality assurance (QA) specialist in the e-learning and training field to my grandmother's more dangerous responsibilities during wartime, I do ...
"International and public accreditation as quality assurance mechanisms in professional education in terms of integration into the international educational space"Vladivostok1st DAY: October 29, Wednesday
"Foreign and Russian experience in e-learning evaluation and quality assurance"
Approaches in quality assessment of e-learning in the world and in Russia;
Changes in The Law of the Russian Federation on Education in the part of using e-learning tools;
Prospects of developing governmental accreditation procedures for educational programs based on e-learning technologies;
European quality seal e-learning – UNIQUe;
Targets of e-learning quality assessment;
Tools, criteria and stages of e-learning quality assessment.
The introduction of fees and additional pressures faced by learners and institutions brought about by the global recession means that the traditional model of higher education is coming to a time of significant change. Modern learners demand a product that delivers graduate attributes such as employability within a subject-specific context but that also provides a quality return on their investment. While notions of delivery of a quality product within the HE agenda are not new, the changing demands of students in the international HE market has concentrated institutional attention on the need to respond to learner demand for increased value for money.
Definitions of quality within HE range from this notion of meeting customers’ needs through fitness for purpose to quality as excellence (Oliver et al, 2001). Existing models such as those provided by JISC QA/QE SIG (2011) and Edinburgh Napier’s 3 E framework (Smyth et al, 2011) can provide a good starting point. However, the response must necessarily be an individual one that informs the design of curriculum – including the VLE; is contextualised within the specific institutional framework; and shaped by student needs.
At the heart of the drive for delivery of high quality programmes at Northampton are a focus on the need to enhance both our quality irrespective of mode of study and the learner experience including their expectations of quality contact with tutors; together with a need to deploy low cost, high value academic and support activities. In substantial part, this is driven by a need to align our portfolio more with market needs, rationalise our offering and re-evaluate appropriate modes of study. There are a number of ways in which quality is being addressed and the purpose of this presentation is to explore how we are learning to surf the quality wave, avoid wipeout and ride with style!
Alastair Creelman, Vice-President at EFQUEL sheds light on why e-learning is no longer an alternative form of education.. (RT @alacre: E-learning – from alternative to norm. My thoughts on e-learning quality assurance.
A global quality platform to review non-institutional education providers is to be piloted by America’s Council for Higher Education Accreditation and its International Quality Group. The platform is aimed at protecting students and is a response to the explosion of non-traditional provision – including MOOCs – and increasingly international higher education.
In a nutshell, the quality platform – which will be piloted within the next two months – is envisaged as a voluntary, non-governmental external review of non-institutional providers undertaken by an expert team and based on self-evaluation, using standards that include student outcomes.
The Council for Higher Education Accreditation, or CHEA, will facilitate its development but the platform will need to be operated by an existing or new organisation, said CHEA President Judith Eaton.
The quality platform was discussed at a webinar last week titled “Exploring External Quality Review for Non-Institutional Providers” and attended by US higher education professionals and officials but also people from countries such as Barbados, Belgium, Ghana and Israel.
9th European Quality Assurance Forum Changing education – QA and the shift from teaching to learningHosted by the University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain 13-15 November 2014
The European Quality Assurance Forum (EQAF) provides a unique platform for the higher education and quality assurance (QA) communities to monitor, shape and anticipate developments in the field. The main purpose of the Forum is to foster a dialogue on QA that bridges national boundaries and leads to a truly European discussion on QA in higher education, and to create a common European understanding of QA through discussions and networking among different stakeholder groups.
Don’t miss the Best Practices in Online Course Design webinar series presented by SoftChalk and Quality Matters! In this series, educators from across the country will demonstrate how they design and deliver effective online courses using Quality Matters standards and SoftChalk Create. Each webinar will focus on best practices for one or more of the QM standards.
Getting Started with Quality Overviews and Introductions
Wednesday, April 30
Adding Accessibility to Online Courses: Making your online course accessible for all types of learners
Monday, May 19,
Promoting Learner Interaction and Engagement in Online Courses
Wednesday, June 11
Engaging Learners through Course Technology
Wednesday, July 23
Incorporating Assessment and Measurement tools into your Online Course
Quality Matters has designed two national studies to capture the student voice on QM's impact on students and is providing free or significantly discounted opportunities for participation by subscribing institutions. These are the first national, inter-institutional research projects conducted by QM.
Research Project 1: Quality Matters for Online Students: A National, Inter-institutional Study on the Impact of QM on Online Student Priorities and Satisfaction
Research Project 2: Hearing the Student Voice: Semantic Analysis of Student Course Feedback Aligned to Quality Matters General Standards
Arab Organization for Quality Assurance in Education (AROQA) is a non-profit independent organization established in Belgium for the purpose of setting educational standards and providing quality assurance and accreditation services and certification to governmental and private educational institutions in the Arab World.
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