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Article
Publication date: 24 July 2020

Syed Aziz Anwar, M. Sadiq Sohail and Meera Al Reyaysa

It has been argued in the literature that quality assurance is a relative concept. In view of the new challenges (and opportunities) created by e-learning institutions in…

Abstract

Purpose

It has been argued in the literature that quality assurance is a relative concept. In view of the new challenges (and opportunities) created by e-learning institutions in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, this paper aims to explore the dimensions of quality assurance in e-learning and test the psychometric properties of the underlying dimensions.

Design/methodology/approach

A sequential mixed methods approach was applied in this study. In the qualitative phase, items were generated using the inductive and deductive approaches. This was then followed by the quantitative phase where data was collected from 275 senior academics, scholars and administrators associated with e-learning institutions in Kuwait, UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Findings

The findings of this study revealed that e-learning quality assurance is a multidimensional construct. The dimensions of accreditation, assessment, accountability and benchmarking were identified. Further, the model demonstrated adequacy in its validity and reliability.

Practical implications

In the light of proliferation of e-learning courses in GCC countries, the results of this are invaluable to enable administrators and instructors to design strategy and foster innovation in the domain of quality assurance. E-learning institutions operating in a competitive environment have to design and implement an effective strategy to achieve innovation, uniqueness and diversity in the educational sector of their countries.

Originality/value

This paper has successfully validated an e-learning quality assurance questionnaire, which can be used effectively for evaluating e-learning programmes.

Details

Quality Assurance in Education, vol. 28 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0968-4883

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Article
Publication date: 23 August 2019

Jeffrey W. Alstete and Nicholas J. Beutell

This study aims to consider assurance of learning among undergraduate business students enrolled in capstone business strategy courses using the GLO-BUS competitive…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to consider assurance of learning among undergraduate business students enrolled in capstone business strategy courses using the GLO-BUS competitive simulation. Gender, academic major and business core course performance were examined.

Design/methodology/approach

Participants were 595 undergraduate capstone business students from 21 course sections taught over a four-year period. Variables included learning assurance measures, simulation performance, gender, major, business core course grades, capstone course grade and cumulative grade point average. Correlations, linear regression, multiple regression and multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) were used to analyze the data.

Findings

Learning assurance report scores were strongly related to simulation performance. Simulation performance was related to capstone course grade, which, in turn, was significantly related to the grade point average (GPA). Core business courses were related to learning assurance and performance indicators. Significant differences for gender and degree major were found for academic performance measures. Women and men did not differ in simulation performance.

Research limitations/implications

Limitations include the use of one simulation (GLO-BUS) and studying students at one university taught by one professor. Assurance of learning measures needs further study as factors in business program evaluation. Future research should analyze post-graduate performance and career achievements in relation to assurance of learning outcomes.

Originality/value

This study conducts empirical analyses of simulation learning that focuses entirely on direct measures, including student characteristics (gender, major), learning assurance measures, business core course grades, capstone course grades and student GPAs.

Details

Quality Assurance in Education, vol. 27 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0968-4883

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Article
Publication date: 30 September 2020

Vusi Tsabedze and Mpho Ngoepe

The purpose of this study is to examine quality assurance for archives and records management (ARM) education in an open distance e-learning (ODeL) environment in Eswatini…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine quality assurance for archives and records management (ARM) education in an open distance e-learning (ODeL) environment in Eswatini with a view to conceptualise a framework for quality assurance in the development and implementation of an ARM programme in the context of ODeL.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is anchored on the interpretive research paradigm, which surrounds a systematic literature review. The researcher searched for literature online, using scientific databases such as Ebsco, Scopus and Google Scholar. The search applied the publications from 2005 to 2019. The main search keywords are “archives”, “records management”, “open distance e-learning” and “quality assurance”. A total of 15 articles, which included documents, journal articles, reports, web pages and monographs, were retrieved, reviewed and analysed in this study. This conceptual study was preliminary, and the researcher hopes that further empirical studies based on the findings of this study could be pursued in future.

Findings

ARM as a form of study and delivered on ODeL platforms have been proposed in Eswatini. The major concern among stakeholders is how to ensure the quality of such programmes.

Research limitations/implications

This conceptual study was preliminary, and the researcher hopes that further empirical studies based on the findings of this study could be pursued in future.

Practical implications

The findings and recommendations will help in the development of ARM programmes to be offered effectively by way of ODeL, there is a need to develop a transparent quality assurance framework for such an application and its implementation.

Originality/value

This is the first study on quality assurance for ARM education in an ODeL environment in Eswatini. As part of the study, a quality assurance framework was designed for the implementation of ARM education on an ODeL platform. This quality assurance framework is intended to help higher education institutions in Eswatini such as the University of Eswatini as well as stakeholders such as the Eswatini National Archives and others to design ARM education and deliver it on an ODeL platform in a manner that guarantees adequate quality.

Details

The International Journal of Information and Learning Technology, vol. 38 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-4880

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Article
Publication date: 28 February 2020

Jeffrey W. Alstete and Nicholas J. Beutell

The purpose of this study is to analyze learning assurance measures derived from a business simulation as part of capstone business strategy courses delivered via distance…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to analyze learning assurance measures derived from a business simulation as part of capstone business strategy courses delivered via distance learning (DL) compared to traditional classroom (on-ground [OG]) delivery modes using experiential learning theory.

Design/methodology/approach

A sample of 595 undergraduate capstone business students from 21 course sections taught over a four-year period in a medium-sized private master’s level college is investigated. Variables included learning assurance measures from a competitive online simulation (GLO-BUS), gender, business degree major, capstone course grades and cumulative grade point averages. The analytic strategy included correlations, linear regressions, multiple regressions and multivariate analyses of variance.

Findings

Results reveal that there are significant differences in learning assurance report (LAR) scores, gender differences and differences between academic majors based on delivery mode (OG versus DL). Simulation performance was higher for DL students, although the relationship between simulation performance and final course grades was not significantly different for OG and DL cohorts.

Research limitations/implications

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, implications for courses, programs, curricula and learning assessment are considered. The strengths (actual performance measures) and potential limitations (e.g. possible deficiency of measures) of LAR scores are discussed.

Originality/value

This research compares OG and DL modes for strategic management course outcomes using direct assessments, including simulation learning assurance measures, student characteristics, capstone course grades and student grade point averages.

Details

Journal of International Education in Business, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-469X

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2002

Norah Jones, Arthur Morgan and David Turner

Existing quality assurance arrangements do not consider the variations in design and delivery opportunities offered through the utilisation of emerging technologies and…

Abstract

Existing quality assurance arrangements do not consider the variations in design and delivery opportunities offered through the utilisation of emerging technologies and its application in non‐traditional forms of educational arrangements. One particular form of delivery, aided by technology, is on‐line delivery, either to the workplace or the home. This mode offers considerable significance for developing the role and principles of work‐based learning in providing a much broader population the opportunity to participate in higher education. This article reviews the development of the online E‐College and its role in work‐based learning with particular focus on the arrangements for quality assurance.

Details

Quality Assurance in Education, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0968-4883

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Article
Publication date: 24 August 2012

E.S.I. Ossiannilsson

Benchmarking, a method for quality assurance has not been very commonly used in higher education with regard to e‐learning. Today, e‐learning is an integral part of higher…

Abstract

Purpose

Benchmarking, a method for quality assurance has not been very commonly used in higher education with regard to e‐learning. Today, e‐learning is an integral part of higher education, and so should also be an integral part of quality assurance systems. However, quality indicators, benchmarks and critical success factors on e‐learning have not been taken seriously into consideration, nor incorporated in ordinary national or international quality assurance systems. The purpose of this paper is to describe how The European Association of Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU) initiated and developed E‐xcellence+, a quality benchmarking assessment method and tool.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper, which is part of a larger research project on European benchmarking, focuses on experiences from universities taking part in the E‐xcellence+ valorization process.

Findings

The results showed that benchmarking is a powerful tool to support improved governance and management in higher education, in alignment with national and international quality agencies. The tool can serve for quality improvements in teaching and learning. Additionally, the results showed critical success issues for e‐learning.

Originality/value

This original paper reports on a Europe‐wide study examining benchmarking of e‐learning and presents suggestions for tackling quality issues.

Details

Campus-Wide Information Systems, vol. 29 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1065-0741

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Article
Publication date: 30 January 2009

Manorama Tripathi and V.K.J. Jeevan

The paper aims to study how the present distance learning libraries can improve upon their existing services and introduce new ones to enhance quality of services to…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to study how the present distance learning libraries can improve upon their existing services and introduce new ones to enhance quality of services to distance learners.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper includes a review of literature on quality assurance in open and distance education in general and student support services in particular. It studies and compares the current practices followed by libraries at open universities, which have proved trailblazers in distance education.

Findings

This paper proposes an action plan for distance learning libraries and offers suggestions for improving their library services.

Originality/value

This paper will be of interest to library science researchers and professionals working in distance learning libraries with responsibility for quality assurance.

Details

Quality Assurance in Education, vol. 17 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0968-4883

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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…

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

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Article
Publication date: 8 August 2017

Misty M. Bennett, Karl L. Smart and Anil Kumar

The purpose of this paper is to describe an organizational change effort that the College of Business Administration at a Midwestern university undertook to transform…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe an organizational change effort that the College of Business Administration at a Midwestern university undertook to transform assurance of learning (AoL) from an inefficient process focused on responding to accreditors to the one that embraced continuous improvement focused on student learning.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study approach was employed along with the analysis of historical documents, interviews with stakeholders in the college, and a review from an external expert to reveal root problematic causes behind the current state of AoL in the college. Lewin’s model of planned change was applied at the beginning of the process to identify the ways to unfreeze the current state of assessment, implement changes, and refreeze by identifying rewards and incentives for faculty to institutionalize the new assessment culture of student learning.

Findings

Four root problematic areas were revealed behind the current state of AoL in the college: faculty resistance and lack of engagement, structural and communication challenges, inconsistency across degree programs, and misalignment of the college vision and mission with program learning goals. Improved communication and coordination between assessment groups and increasing faculty ownership were identified as the key factors for a successful AoL process.

Practical implications

Colleges looking to improve coordination of AoL activities and increase faculty engagement in the AoL process can implement many of the initiatives described in this study.

Originality/value

This case study takes into account new trends in the area of assessment and AoL and addresses common problems that colleges face regarding accreditation in an area where empirical studies do not exist.

Details

American Journal of Business, vol. 32 no. 3-4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1935-5181

Keywords

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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…

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

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