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Article
Publication date: 10 July 2009

G. Srikanthan and Alistair Inglis

528

Abstract

Details

Quality Assurance in Education, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0968-4883

Article
Publication date: 26 September 2008

Alistair Inglis

This paper aims to compare the ways in which a range of quality frameworks have been validated and to identify a number of factors that have an impact on validation processes.

2471

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to compare the ways in which a range of quality frameworks have been validated and to identify a number of factors that have an impact on validation processes.

Design/methodology/approach

Seven examples of published quality frameworks applicable to the field of e‐learning are described and the methods used to validate each of the frameworks are identified and compared. The article concludes by considering a range of factors that have the potential to have an impact on such validation processes.

Findings

Six methods of validation were found to have been used in relation to development of the seven frameworks that were examined: reviewing the research literature related to effectiveness in online learning; seeking input from an expert panel; undertaking empirical research; undertaking survey research; conducting pilot projects; and drawing on case studies. From the variety of approaches used and the ways in which they were used it was concluded that a recognised set of procedures for validation of quality frameworks has not yet emerged.

Research limitations/implications

The most important limitation of this study is that its findings are dependent on the particular quality frameworks selected for inclusion.

Practical implications

The paper draws attention to the need for more attention to be paid to the development of methods of validation that are both objective and robust.

Originality/value

No previous studies were located that have looked specifically at the processes used to validate quality frameworks. This paper therefore provides some initial baseline data upon which to base future work.

Details

Quality Assurance in Education, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0968-4883

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 July 2009

Jennifer Ireland, Helen Mary Correia and Tim Mark Griffin

The purpose of this paper is to introduce and describe the features of a new e‐learning quality framework developed for a large multi‐campus university. The framework is…

3126

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce and describe the features of a new e‐learning quality framework developed for a large multi‐campus university. The framework is explicitly designed to improve the quality of e‐learning sites and the quality of online student learning, by developing the skills of the academics who design the sites.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a conceptual paper. It examines a range of existing models and literature on evaluative frameworks in e‐learning and positions the new framework within that context. It describes the features that distinguish the new framework from existing models and explains how these differences are tailored to develop the e‐learning design skills of academic staff and to encourage greater engagement with e‐learning quality initiatives across the university.

Findings

The paper identifies several features of the new framework that differ from other models and explains the inclusion of these features in terms of the support they provide for quality improvement at a university where academics are the main designers of e‐learning sites.

Originality/value

The paper makes a contribution to the literature on quality initiatives in e‐learning by introducing a new quality framework that differs in significant respects from other models. The rationale underpinning the inherently developmental design of this framework, as set out in this paper, may be useful to other universities where academics are the main designers of e‐learning sites.

Details

Quality Assurance in Education, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0968-4883

Keywords

Content available

Abstract

Details

Quality Assurance in Education, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0968-4883

Content available
214

Abstract

Details

Quality Assurance in Education, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0968-4883

Article
Publication date: 10 July 2009

Dianne Thurab‐Nkhosi and Stewart Marshall

In 2004, the University of the West Indies Distance Education Centre (UWIDEC) began incorporating the use of new information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the…

1141

Abstract

Purpose

In 2004, the University of the West Indies Distance Education Centre (UWIDEC) began incorporating the use of new information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the delivery of its programmes and courses, taking a “blended learning” approach. There is a recognition, however, of the need to ensure the quality of the programme offerings particularly in light of the new move toward the use of ICT. Prior to 2004, UWIDEC had implemented a set of quality assurance procedures for the development of its print materials, however these procedures do not provide for quality in the use of the new ICT, including web‐based tools. The purpose of this paper is to describe practical mechanisms and tools used for quality assurance processes in an evolving, dual mode university, adopting ICTs in the provision of open and distance learning. The context and unit of analysis for the case is the UWIDEC.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper, using a descriptive, single‐case study approach, explores the processes adopted by UWIDEC as it integrated the use of ICTs in its programme delivery. The UWIDEC's application of quality assurance processes and procedures is analysed in relation to the processes and procedures outlined by the US Institute for Higher Education Policy and to a lesser extent other institutions and associations involved in quality assurance in higher education.

Findings

In order to provide online distance education that is “fit for purpose”, an organization must ensure: institutional support; effective course development; learner‐centred interactive delivery; support for students; support for faculty; and a system of evaluation. UWIDEC attempts to do this by developing a series of tools which are all based on guidelines provided by international organizations involved in quality assurance processes and procedures in higher education.

Originality/value

This paper expands on the discussion surrounding the difference between quality assurance for conventional modes of higher education versus distance modes. It also provides a description of a case study from a distributed, dual‐mode university in small‐island developing states, while highlighting the practical tools that can be implemented in these special circumstances.

Details

Quality Assurance in Education, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0968-4883

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 2 October 2007

Alistair Inglis

221

Abstract

Details

Quality Assurance in Education, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0968-4883

Article
Publication date: 10 July 2009

Juliana Mansvelt, Gordon Suddaby, Duncan O'Hara and Amanda Gilbert

The paper reports on findings of research into the institutional and individual influences on engaging in professional development (PD), reflecting on how PD might be made…

2081

Abstract

Purpose

The paper reports on findings of research into the institutional and individual influences on engaging in professional development (PD), reflecting on how PD might be made available in ways which could support quality in e‐learning.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents findings of a research project exploring factors influencing engagement in e‐learning PD within New Zealand tertiary education institutions. The research comprised an online survey of 408 individuals in three polytechnics and two universities and 40 qualitative interviews ascertaining beliefs, experiences and practices of staff regarding e‐learning PD.

Findings

The survey and interviews suggest there are numerous factors which both help and hinder quality of engagement in e‐learning PD. Most PD engaged in by staff is informal. Engagement in formal PD is influenced by organisational structure, co‐ordination, poorly developed and/or implemented e‐learning policy, differences in managerial support, and individual beliefs and time allocation.

Research limitations/implications

The research is conducted in a small number of tertiary institutions and may not be applicable to private or work‐based training organisations.

Practical implications

Understanding impacts and influences on individual uptake and experiences of PD provides insights into the sorts of institutional practices and policies likely to improve quality in e‐learning and in e‐learning PD.

Originality/value

By focussing on staff experiences, this paper provides important insights into practical considerations informing the development of e‐learning quality enhancement and assurance strategies.

Details

Quality Assurance in Education, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0968-4883

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 July 2009

M'hammed Abdous

The purpose of this paper is to propose a process‐oriented lifecycle model for ensuring quality in e‐learning development and delivery. As a dynamic and iterative process…

2885

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose a process‐oriented lifecycle model for ensuring quality in e‐learning development and delivery. As a dynamic and iterative process, quality assurance (QA) is intertwined with the e‐learning development process.

Design/methodology/approach

After reviewing the existing literature, particularly focusing on QA frameworks, procedures, and methodology, a process‐oriented model structured around three sequential non‐linear phases is presented: before: planning and analysis; during: design, prototype and production; and after: post‐production and delivery. This model is supported by an advanced information system used to organize, track, collect, and generate reports regarding QA changes and needed updates.

Findings

Following a process‐oriented lifecycle approach, the paper emphasises that QA requires a supportive environment that explicitly recognizes quality as a work value and as an enabler for reaching organizational goals.

Practical implications

The paper proposes a practical QA model which follows e‐learning development phases. For each development phase, practical steps, including sample checklists, are recommended.

Originality/value

The proposed model has the potential to transform QA from a static, after‐the‐fact state to a more iterative and dynamic state, thus promoting a culture of ongoing self‐improvement, rather than of circumstantial compliance, within the e‐learning community.

Details

Quality Assurance in Education, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0968-4883

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 July 2009

Ulf Daniel Ehlers

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the changes taking place when learning moves from a transmissive learning model to a collaborative and reflective learning model…

3830

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the changes taking place when learning moves from a transmissive learning model to a collaborative and reflective learning model and proposes consequences for quality development.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper summarises relevant research in the field of e‐learning to outline the differences between e‐learning 1.0 and e‐learning 2.0 and amalgamates it with a series of previously published works. The characteristics of quality development are analyses in a next step and suitable methodologies for developing quality for e‐learning 2.0 environments are selected, proposed and explained.

Findings

Even though the question of quality is controversially discussed already when e‐learning 1.0 appeared on the market, e‐learning 2.0 creates even more insecurity. This paper aims at answering the following questions: what constitutes the new, innovative element, which is described by Web 2.0 and e‐learning 2.0? Does this development have consequences for how it assures, manage and develop quality in e‐learning? In three steps, it is described what e‐learning 2.0 constitutes, which basic elements of Web 2.0 it builds on, and what has changed. In a second, step the consequences this implies for quality development in e‐learning are discussed. Third, a number of methods as examples and practical advice on how to further advance quality development are described.

Originality/value

The original value of the paper is to outline the changes which have to be taken into account in new and innovative learning environment which are build on Web 2.0 technologies and to draw consequences for quality development as well as suggest methodologies for educators and learners to improve quality of such learning environments.

Details

Quality Assurance in Education, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0968-4883

Keywords

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