Quality assurance (QA) in open and distance learning (ODL) can be a contentious issue. Some argue that it should be judged by the same criteria and methods as face-to-face education, while others claim that it is so different in its organization, enrolments and operations that conventional QA mechanisms cannot apply. Some advocate the use of specific guidelines and standards for e-learning; others believe that, regardless of the technology, the basic principles of quality teaching and learning should apply. Providers who have enjoyed freedom from external scrutiny may resist attempts at external regulation and auditing and look upon QA as yet another imposition of corporatization and bureaucracy on education. Others see it as a means of establishing a culture of quality, self-reflection and self-improvement.
There is little research-based literature to guide policy-makers, managers and practitioners in applying QA in education and training to ensure the right balance is found between accountability and autonomy, as well as assuring quality for the time and costs involved. In this respect, Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Distance Education and e-Learning is a book that is long overdue. It explains what is involved in QA and accreditation in education. It describes and analyzes applications of these practices in open, distance, dual-mode and conventional universities throughout Europe, North America, Africa, and the Asia-Pacific, looking at open schooling, e-learning in conventional schools, non-formal adult and community education, and corporate and small-to-medium enterprises.
Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Distance Education and e-Learning is edited and authored by experts with extensive international experience in ODL, e-learning and QA who give careful consideration to the possibilities and challenges involved. The book will be an invaluable guide for all policy-makers, managers, practitioners and researchers in the field.
Table of Contents
Foreword, Sir John Daniel
Preface, Insung Jung and Colin Latchem
1. Quality assurance and accreditation in higher education, Denise Chalmers and Shannon Johnston
2. Quality assurance and accreditation in open and distance learning, Colin Latchem and Insung Jung
3. International and regional quality assurance and accreditation, Colin Latchem and Anuwar Ali
4. Quality assurance in Asian open and distance learning, Insung Jung
5. Quality assurance for distance education in sub-Saharan Africa, Sarah Hoosen and Neil Butcher
6. Quality assurance and accreditation in the United States and Canada, Nancy K. Parker
7. Quality assurance and accreditation for distance education in the United Kingdom, Denise Kirkpatrick
8. Quality assurance policies and guidelines in European distance and e-learning, Ulf-Daniel Ehlers
9. Quality assurance policies and guidelines for distance education in Australia and New Zealand, Yoni Ryan and Mark Brown
10. Quality assurance in open universities, Asha Kanwar and Kate Clarke
11. Quality assurance in a mega-university: Universitas Terbuka, Tian Belawati, Aminudin Zuhairi and I.G.A.K Wardani
12. Quality assurance in a consortium: Open Universities Australia, Teresa De Fazio, John Ketonen and Michael Crock
13. Quality assurance in regional dual-mode universities: The University of the South Pacific and The University of the West Indies, Rajesh Chandra, Dianne Thurab-Nkhosi and Stewart Marshall
14. Conducting an external institutional quality review: The Palestinian Al-Quds Open University, Kathleen Matheos
15. Lowering the cost and increasing the effectiveness of quality assurance: COL RIM, Geoff Plimmer, Alison Schmidt, Willie Clarke-Okah, Caroline Donovan and Winsome Russell
16. Quality assurance in open schooling: National Institute of Open Schooling, India and Open Junior Secondary School, Indonesia, Sanjaya Mishra, Sitanshu S. Jena and Arief S. Sadiman
17. Assuring quality in school digital ecosystems, Michael Gaffney
18. So few lessons learned? Quality assurance in the global telecentre movement, Richard Fuchs
19. Quality assurance in e-learning for European small-to-medium enterprises, Torstein Rekkedal
20. Quality assurance for e-learning in the South Korean corporate sector, Cheolil Lim
21. Competencies and quality assurance in distance and e-learning, Insung Jung and Colin Latchem
22. Learners’ perceptions and opinions of quality assurance, Insung Jung
23. Concluding remarks: Quality matters, Insung Jung and Colin Latchem
Insung Jung is Professor of Education, Media and Society at the International Christian University in Tokyo.
Colin Latchem is an Australian researcher, writer and consultant in open and distance learning.
"The book that Jung and Latchem pulled together provides much-needed discussion on just what quality assurance in distance education is. It also provides conceptual organizational models and practical strategies for continually working towards quality improvement and for transparently tracking and documenting outcomes. Most importantly, this book finally brings quality assurance from being a lofty ideal into the realm of practical discussion." —The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning
"With its in-depth, cogent examination of structure and organization of worldwide distance education systems, this book can serve as an effective teaching resource, as well as an invaluable reference for administrators and policy-makers. Undoubtedly, it will prove to be an enlightening and useful contribution to the field of distance learning."
"This volume makes a valuable contribution to the growing body of assessment-related work in this area, and as it is co-edited by two well regarded researchers, we can be assured that it includes authors whose chapters have been carefully vetted. The book’s organization presents an effective topical sequence, with chapters focusing on assessment-related issues in specific contexts- higher education, online education, international, regional, types of institutions, specific institutions, consortia, and corporations- then finishing with a broader discussion of quality assurance in the final chapters to nicely pull the entire body of work together. This approach allows the reader to be selective in choosing those chapters most relevant to their particular organizational setting, though all should be sure to absorb the beginning and ending chapters to gain an overall perspective."–Dr Michael Beaudoin, University of New England
"In terms of content, this instructive, inspiring, and rich book can be considered as a platform and even a complementary work for current and future research on QA in ODL. The present book as a roadmap of research on QA in different ODL settings, and as a guide, promising that regardless of activities reported here, there will be many opportunities and new horizons for the development of interesting projects covering a broad range of QA topics through a variety of research approaches, has taken a successful step towards such a development in theory and practice, though in effect, it leans somewhat toward the side of practice. I believe that reading such a valuable quality work will be of interest and benefit for researchers, students, professors, managers, authorities, policy makers and decision makers, practitioners, and, above all, end-users of services provided through ODL."– Dr A. Isfandyari-Moghaddam, Islamic Azad University