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European Distance Learning Week: Quality Assurance challenged by new modes of teaching

Presentation by Secretary General George Ubachs, EADTU for the European Distance Learning Week's second day webinar on "Quality in open, online and technology enhanced learning"- 8 November 2016
Recordings of the discussion are available:

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European Distance Learning Week: Quality Assurance challenged by new modes of teaching

  1. 1. “Quality Assurance challenged by new modes of teaching”. 7th November 2016 Drs. George Ubachs (EADTU) European Association of Distance Teaching Universities
  2. 2. What is an up-to-date curriculum design in times of digitalisation?
  3. 3. Curriculum design includes • Personalized teaching and learning, focusing on learning activities and putting students and their ambitions at the centre • Small scale and intensive education (breaking down large numbers, learning communities, balance between qualifications, socialization and personal development (“Bildung”) • Integrating courses in larger learning environments, linking with research, innovation and professional domains behind the course • Organising open and flexible education for off campus students. This requires a specific approach with a different blend or even completely online. • Cost-effectiveness by scale effects in variable costs and re-running courses, course teams, shareable resources • High student and staff satisfaction, when incorporated in innovative curricula and strategies for systemic institutional innovation
  4. 4. • Copying lectures doesn’t add enough value as the innovative potential of online learning is not used • the variable cost of high quality digital learning does not achieve economies of scale if you maintain the same pedagogy (Laurillard, 2014) • to enhance quality, effectiveness and scalability in digital education, learning design is needed Education is a design science Going (partly) online …It is not the same pedagogy
  5. 5. Five main challenges in designing a course Learning activities • which learning activities should be designed for students in the course to reach the learning objectives? Sequence • How to sequence the learning activities Student support • How to support students? Learner control • How to increase learner control Assessment • How to assess students during the process and at the end of it?
  6. 6. Innovative pedagogies Learning design informed by analytics Flipped classroom Dynamic assessment Personal inquiry learning Learning through storytelling Treshold concepts Digital scholarship Learning from gaming MOOCs Massive open social learning
  7. 7. Blended learning • The most appropriate modes of teaching and learning for a course should be used in an optimal way and in an optimal blend. • This is a qualitative judgement, based on multiple factors (course content, student characteristics, course objectives, learning activities to be designed, environment or software available, etc.). The blend is not a quantitative issue. • The design concerns the choice of media, the sequence of activities and the optimal blend of online and f-2-f education.
  8. 8. Quality assurance As is the case for research publications, the possibility exists to organise quality assurance ex ante by peer reviews or by test implementations for a small group of students (Elen, 2011; Laurillard, 2014). The review should focus on the content as well as on the educational design. Only after a positive evaluation, the course will subsequently be developed and anchored in the blended learning environment. Eventually, the course can be approved for a limited period in which a re-design is prepared.
  9. 9. Are quality assurance frameworks sufficiently flexible to adapt to differentiated approaches and innovations in pedagogy? ESG 2.3 External quality assurance does not end with the report by the experts. The report provides clear guidance for institutional action. Agencies have a consistent follow-up process for considering the action taken by the institution. The nature of the follow-up will depend on the design of the external quality assurance. ESG 2.6 In order for the report to be used as the basis for action to be taken, it needs to be clear and concise in its structure and language and to cover - context description (to help locate the higher education institution in its specific context); - description of the individual procedure, including experts involved; - evidence, analysis and findings; - conclusions; - features of good practice, demonstrated by the institution; - recommendations for follow-up action. Seeking and documenting examples of innovation in the curriculum are necessary.
  10. 10. 4.31 It is clear that higher education institutions, their staff and students, and the quality assurance agencies all have concerns about relevant and effective quality assurance for online and blended education. They are still in the beginning of a transition period, which has to be accelerated to fully exploit the opportunities of new modes of teaching and learning and to keep track with the international developments in higher education.
  11. 11. • National governments must review their legislative and regulatory frameworks and practices for quality assurance and accreditation in higher education (including recognition of prior learning) to ensure that they encourage, and do not impede, the provision of more flexible educational formats, including degrees and other ECTS-bearing courses that are fully online. • National QA agencies should develop their own in-house expertise and establish processes that are sufficiently flexible to include recognising and supporting modes of teaching and learning. They should evaluate institutions on their active support of innovation (or importantly, the lack of it), and its impact on the quality of teaching and learning. • ENQA and other relevant European networks should support the sharing of good practice by national QA agencies in the development of criteria on the recognition of new modes of teaching and learning. CPL-Recommendations related to QA
  12. 12. Services open to all HEI
  13. 13. E-xcellence: QA in e-learning instrument • Curriculum design, Course design, Course delivery, Services (student and staff support), Management (institutional strategies) • E-xcellence focuses on elements in course provision that contribute to Lifelong Learning schemes, like:  ease of access to courses and services  new forms of interaction (students and staff)  flexibility and personalisation • E-xcellence is a benchmarking instrument.
  14. 14. will help the university: • to develop e-learning programmes • to guide the internal discussion • to improve the quality of e-learning performance • to learn from other similar institutions • to use existing good-practices • to be up-to date on developments in e-learning E-xcellence tool
  15. 15. 2015
  16. 16. • OpenupEd is an open, non-profit partnership for MOOCs • OpenupEd aims to open up education to the benefit of learners and the wider society while reflecting values such as equity, quality and diversity. • The vision is to reach learners interested in online higher education in a way that meets their needs and accommodates their situation.
  17. 17. OpenupEd OpenupEd is an open, non-profit partnership on MOOCs OpenupEd aims to contribute to opening up education to the benefit of learners and the wider society while reflecting values such as equity, quality and diversity. Offering over 292 MOOCs in 14 different languages. With > 100 with an option to do a formal exam (ECTS credits).
  18. 18. OpenupEd features • Openness to learners • Digital openness • Learner-centred approach • Independent learning • Media-supported interaction • Recognition options • Spectrum of diversity • Quality focus
  19. 19. Quick scan
  20. 20. Action plan
  21. 21. EUROPEAN ASSOCIATION OF DISTANCE TEACHING UNIVERSITIES George Ubachs Managing Director EADTU NL- 6212 XN Maastricht | +31 433118712 | Innovating education by: E-xcellence | OpenupEd | Empower