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1 A Guide to Quality in Online Learning

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3 A Guide to Quality in Online Learning Editors’ Foreword W ith the eruption of MOOCs (Massive commissioned by Academic Partnerships, Open Online Courses) in 2012, online learning which is helping numbers of institutions globally became a hot topic for the world’s news media. to ensure the quality and fi nancial sustainability In reality, the MOOCs story merely added of their online offerings. momentum to the steady growth in online learning that has occurred since the turn of the millennium. We were delighted to secure the services of Neil Butcher and Merridy Wilson-Strydom to prepare Today there are few students with reliable Internet this Guide. Being based in South Africa, they are access who do not explore the possibility of familiar both with countries where technology is undertaking some of their courses online; few faculty abundant and also with places where connectivity members who do not wonder about the implications cannot be taken for granted. Now that online learning of technology-mediated learning for their teaching; is an important development priority for institutions and few higher education institutions that are not everywhere, this dual perspective is vital. grappling with the development of institutional policies for online learning. This is a global It has been a pleasure for us to work with such expert phenomenon. and professional colleagues. We hope the result will be useful not only to those who are new to online As they engage with online education, institutions learning, but also to institutions that have already discover that success means far more than pouring encountered some of the challenges that it poses. traditional instructional approaches into new technological bottles. Fortunately, individuals, institutions and professional bodies in many Stamenka Uvalić-Trumbić countries are addressing the challenge of how Sir John Daniel to make online learning a quality experience for Senior Advisors – Academic Partnerships students. This Guide distils this widespread experience and extensive research into a compact and readable account, while also providing an extensive bibliography if you seek to explore particular issues further. New forms of collaboration, both among institu- tions and with the private sector, are accompanying the growth of online learning. This Guide has been 1

4 A Guide to Quality in Online Learning Introduction What is quality in online learning? Existing quality assurance frameworks, guidelines, and benchmarks show that quality in online learning has many dimensions. But we can distil these into a number of common issues to which practitioners and students should attend. This guide summarizes the key quality issues in online education in a concise and accessible manner, with an annotated reading list to help you to pursue particular topics further. Academics and professionals in higher education are our primary audience. We consider academics and students as the key stakeholders 1 It is structured in the form of for online education, and have written the guide with this principle in mind. 16 ‘Frequently Asked Questions’, followed by an additional reading list focused on quality benchmarks and international best practices. While a short guide cannot unpack all the rich debates about online learning quality, we have tried to fl ag key issues so that you can explore topics of special interest in more detail. To enrich the background, we cite examples from higher education around the world. What is online learning? 1 People use the term online learning in many different ways. Most broadly, it refers to a method of delivering educational information using the internet. This may range from downloadable content (such as iTunes university content, digital textbooks, and video or audio materials) through informal teaching (such as 2 ) to fully structured online courses that include assessments and Massive Open Online Courses – MOOCs 3 Online learning in this last category is our main focus in this guide. the awarding of a qualifi cation. Online learning frees education from the constraints of time and space that go with face-to-face teaching. It can be a more accessible form of learning for people seeking a range of educational opportunities, and is 4 But online learning and traditional classroom learning the basis of many distance education programmes. are not opposites, although they are sometimes presented as such. Online learning should rather be seen as a different teaching and learning method that can be used by itself or to complement classroom teaching. Similarly, online learning does not mean replicating face-to-face teaching in an online environment (see FAQ 3 below). The power of online teaching and learning is that it gives different – and sometimes better – 5 learning experiences. Formal online learning uses the internet. It therefore requires that students have access to the internet and an adequately equipped desktop PC, laptop, tablet, or other suitable device. In many instances (although 6 certainly not all), there is some form of broadband connectivity. 2

5 How is online learning o ered? 2 In this guide we mostly use the term institution to designate an organisation offering online learning. However, because of the methods they use and the technology infrastructure that they require, online teaching and learning make new demands on higher education institutions. For this reason, institutions frequently enter into partnerships with commercial enterprises to support their online learning programmes. For example, most universities that offer MOOCs, which require a computing infrastructure capable of handling large 7 8 or Udacity, numbers of people online simultaneously, partner with companies such as Coursera, 9 For universities that decide to offer a selection of their regular programmes online, companies Futurelearn. 10 offer a range of services from course conversion through student such as Academic Partnerships recruitment and mentoring to technical support. U21Global ( www.u21global.edu.sg ) is another interesting example of partnership in the provision of online learning. With a focus on global management education, U21Global was founded in 2001 with 16 founding 11 At present, U21Global has more than 9,000 students member universities, representing ten countries. and alumni from 72 countries. Senior academics from the four leading partner universities constitute the academic senate of U21Global, the body responsible for assuring quality, in line with the quality standards of each partner university. We do not explore the details of such partnerships in this guide. The key principle is that higher education institutions must always take full responsibility for the quality of the qualifi cations that they award, so references to institutions subsume any partnerships that they use to facilitate their online teaching and learning and any unbundling of the processes involved. What constitutes quality in online learning? 3 The concept of quality in online learning is as complex as the reality of online learning itself. There is a vast literature on quality in higher education, with a profusion of terms and concepts. It often identifi es a tension between two roles of quality assurance: as a means of accountability and as a route to quality improvement. There is another key debate about the role of the student in defi ning quality. Some argue that defi ning quality in higher education should begin with the assumption that online learning is a process of co-production between the online learning environment and the student, with the student perspective taken as the starting 12 These tensions point of quality development across the various areas of online learning provision. ‘become more demanding as new modes of provision increasingly become part of traditional campus-based higher education provision and as institutions try to use the same mechanisms to deal with these completely 13 new forms of courses.’ What then constitutes quality in online learning? Several different benchmarks or quality standards have been defi ned and tested in numerous contexts around the world. The reading list in the appendix to this guide provides short summaries and links to many examples. Although the terminology and emphasis differ, common aspects of a quality experience in the online learning environment can be identifi ed. These are: Institutional support (vision, planning, & infrastructure) Faculty support Course development Technology Teaching and learning (instruction) Evaluation Course structure Student assessment Student support Examination security 3

6 To give a concrete example, the Quality Matters Program ( ), based in the USA, has established www.qmprogram.org national benchmarks for online courses and has become a ‘nationally recognised, faculty-centred, peer process 14 It has developed a series of rubrics to designed to certify the quality of online courses and online components’. meet the specifi c needs of different education sectors. Each rubric is based on thorough scholarly research, while accompanying helpful literature reviews are available to download from the QM website ( http://www.qmprogram.org/rubric ). Central to the QM understanding of online learning quality is the concept of alignment, which is evident when learning objectives, measurement and assessment, educational materials, interaction and engagement of learners, and course technology work together to ensure achievement of desired learning outcomes. Eight standards are defi ned. The rubrics present a set of evaluative dimensions for each standard. The eight areas (with component indicators) that can be seen to constitute quality in online learning within higher education in the QM Program are summarized below. 4

7 The stress placed on each of these aspects in a particular online learning environment or course will depend on its nature, its purpose, and the context in which it is implemented. How can institutions assure quality? 4 Assuring quality online learning in higher education fi rst and foremost requires institutional vision, commitment, 15 and, as noted in FAQ 2, this must also embrace any partnerships involved. In leadership, and sound planning essence, the online learning policy must be aligned with the overall vision and mission of the institution. Leaders and managers must explain why online learning has been selected as an appropriate learning strategy for the 16 Where online learning is new or is supplementing traditional contact provision, it may be students being served. important to encourage innovation and quality through earmarked resources. Institutional policies for online learning should cover the constituent elements of quality identifi ed above (see FAQ 3), contextualized so that they align with institutional realities. In addition, institutions need to comply with regulations that govern online 17 The Australasian Council on Open Distance learning, ensuring that they are refl ected in policy and practice. and e-Learning (ACODE) benchmarks for quality e-learning provide a wealth of useful information and guidelines for institutions seeking to improve the quality of their online learning offering as does the Quality Assurance 18 The following performance indicators, Framework of the Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU). presented by ACODE for institutional policy and governance for online learning, are a useful summary of key issues. ACODE Performance Indicators for Institutional Policy and Governance 1. Institution strategic and operational plans recognise and support the use of technologies to facilitate learning and teaching. 2. Specifi c plans relating to the use of learning and teaching technologies are aligned with the institution’s strategic and operational plans. 3. Planning for learning and teaching technologies is aligned with the budget process. 4. Institution policies specify the use of technologies to support learning and teaching covering all aspects and stakeholder perspectives. 5. Policies are well disseminated and applied. 6. The institution has established governance mechanisms for learning and teaching with technologies that include representation from key stakeholders. 7. Clear management structures identify responsibilities and authority. 8. Decisions regarding new technology adoption are made within current policy frameworks. 5

8 Staff/faculty development in various areas related to online learning is also critical to ensuring quality. Ultimately, it is the faculty who must ensure that their course design and teaching and learning methods ensure quality online 19 Different universities adopt different approaches for staff development in support of online learning. provision. For example, at the University of South Africa (UNISA) – the largest open distance learning institution in Africa – a unit dedicated to curriculum and learning development provides continuing professional learning opportunities 20 for lecturers in various areas, and is also responsible for quality assurance at the institution. The following key areas for professional development and support should be considered in preparing of faculty for online learning: Developing methodologies to promote interactive learning experiences Developing instructional materials Learning about new technological development, as well as the use of a mix of technologies Marketing of online courses Ensuring the availability of adequate assistance for facilitation of learning Strategies for evaluation of the process and outcomes of online learning Education about specifi c technical processes (such as integrating multimedia applications, for example) Opportunities for peer support, feedback, and mentoring Support in management of workload, particularly related to course design Ensuring that faculty have a working knowledge of the range of student support services offered 21 Keeping faculty informed about important institutional policies and administrative procedures What institutional structures and sta ng resources do you need for ensuring 5 quality in online learning? 22 However, you should not Successful quality assurance requires effective and effi cient institutional structures. assume that creating quality assurance structures (such as we describe below) automatically improves quality. Institutions must distinguish between quality assurance procedures, which can easily become compliance 23 For example, evaluating a course, though required, is not focused, and real efforts to enhance quality. suffi cient. Quality enhancement will only take place when the lessons from evaluation are refl ected in the next offering of the course. Institutional quality assurance structures and processes are important, but beware of making them an exercise in compliance for accountability, rather than a process of learning and self-improvement 24 that really improves quality. Notwithstanding this tension between compliance/accountability and self-improvement/innovation, you need some institutional quality assurance structures. Given the diversity of institutional involvement in online learning, we cannot prescribe an ideal quality assurance structure. There are, however, lessons that can be learned about institutional structures from experiences and quality audits that have been conducted around 26 Often institutions have an offi ce/unit/section/division/department (hereafter ‘offi ce’) dedicated to the world. 27 Its size and scope will differ depending on the institution. Such offi ces usually coordinate quality assurance. 28 Sometimes quality audits, programme accreditation, departmental reviews, and other peer review activities. the quality offi ce is also responsible for course evaluations, benchmarking research, institutional monitoring, and calculating key performance indicators (KPIs) to inform quality work. The number of staff members dedicated to quality assurance will differ, but some people must focus on this task. Committee structures at institutional, faculty and/or department level usually underpin the work of the quality 6

9 29 These office. These ensure institutional participation, buy-in and, ultimately, quality improvement. committees should have clearly defi ned responsibilities and delegations, decision-making powers appropriate 30 to the level at which they operate, and have clear procedures for documenting processes and outcomes. Without decision-making powers, quality committees can easily become another layer of administration within a compliance culture. To be effective, staff members serving on quality committees should have access to training in the areas of quality enhancement and assurance. The work of the quality assurance offi ce and the institutional quality committees should feed into institutional processes in teaching and learning, course and materials 31 production, and staff development in order to build a quality culture across the institution. What resources should you allocate to developing quality online learning? 6 If institutions do not employ cost-effective approaches to online learning, they will struggle to achieve its full potential. Cost effectiveness means establishing and maintaining the key processes needed to sustain online 32 33 Inadequate resourcing and fi nancial management will compromise the quality of online learning. learning. 34 Online learning has fi ve main cost drivers: planning, design and development, delivery, maintenance, and overheads. Institutions that make online learning a mission priority need to factor in a signifi cant overhead cost of technology infrastructure, possibly arranged in partnership (see FAQ 2). Sound systems for the storage, delivery, and access 35 Remember, however, that this cost, though signifi cant, will of online courses are a critical element of quality. 36 Nevertheless, staff time and expertise is a large likely be substantially less than that of maintaining a campus. cost driver, but also a key resource for quality online learning. The transition from a completely face-to-face teaching environment to more online learning requires a shift in use of staff time. Less time will be spent on 37 Investment in prior and ongoing staff development course presentation and much more on design and planning. is critical. You should base decisions about resource allocation for the development of quality online learning on sound business plans and cost estimates. The Ontario Online Learning Portal for Faculty and Instructors provides a useful list of the top ten cost drivers (resource needs) for online learning. These are: The number of hours required for course development and preparation The number of hours required to teach a course The number of students in a course The ratio of instructors to students (‘class’ size) The pay scale of instructors (in particular, ratio of tenured to adjunct faculty) Method of course design, development and delivery (e.g. ‘Lone Rangers’ vs. team work) The pedagogy used (e.g. recorded lecturers, constructivist or objectivist approach) The choice of technology for delivery (e.g. lecture capture, learning management system or LMS) The assessment of the course and its outcomes 38 Overhead costs (institutional administrative costs, network costs, etc.) 7

10 How can students judge the quality of online courses? 7 39 Online learning The student perspective is an important aspect of quality assurance for online learning. should not be something that is simply ‘delivered’ to a passive student. Instead, quality online learning is 40 constructed through ‘a process of co-production between the learner and the learning environment’. Two questions usually guide students’ assessment of quality: (1) which are the most important features to consider when looking for quality online learning; and (2) which online learning providers offer the best 41 In making their quality judgements, students should consider the performance at a reasonable price. dimensions of quality in online learning in Table 1. Quality factors that students themselves identify as important include: Provision of tutorial support using a diverse range of media for communication The manner in which cooperation and communication take place in the course Technical standards (where technical standards are not met, students tend to have a very negative experience of the course) Cost-value assessment and expectations that students bring to a course (students need to perceive that the learning experience and benefi ts are adequate in terms of the costs of the online course) Transparency and availability of information about the course and the institution offering the course The structure of the course and fl exibility provided The type of ‘didactical setting’, which includes factors such as learning outcomes, content (including 42 background materials), teaching and learning methodologies, and online materials. How can instructional design, learning materials, and course presentation 8 contribute to quality online learning? High-quality online courses are intentionally designed for an online learning environment by skilled content and instructional design professionals. Good instructional design will refl ect best practices and research on teaching and learning. It covers decisions about the overall learning approach, choice of instructional media, the clustering and sequencing of learning, and the range of exercises, activities, and assessments included in 43 Put another way, ‘instructional design is the process through which an educator determines the the course. 44 Good best teaching methods for specifi c learners in a specifi c context, attempting to obtain a specifi c goal.’ instructional design should be invisible to the student. This means that ‘an online course based on sound design principles should be built with instructional components seamlessly woven together to engage the 45 The QM student in learning while transferring intended context via prescribed instructional strategies.’ criteria shown in Table 1 provide some examples of good practice in instructional design. The following four 46 summarize key design principles, presented as a guide to faculty by the Southern Poly State University four main areas of instructional design: Consistent layout and design; Clear organisation and presentation of information; Consistent and easy-to-use navigation; and 47 Aesthetically pleasing design and graphics. Online course materials should combine sound instructional design with high quality content. Since development of quality online learning materials requires a range of skills, materials development teams often comprise faculty or subject matter experts, instructional designers, curriculum specialists, technology specialists, 8

11 assessment specialists, and a language editor. To ensure effective course design and development, it is important 48 Most institutions that design and to map out a course and materials development workfl ow and review process. create online course materials have identifi ed specifi c criteria and/or checklists that can be used to ensure quality 49 at various stages of the materials development process. Quality online learning materials should be regularly updated to refl ect new developments in the fi eld in question. One approach is to integrate a range of interesting sources from around the world available as Open Educational Resources (OER). OER are openly licensed educational resources that can either be incorporated within learning 51 50 In the African context, OER Africa online materials as they are developed or used ‘as is’ for an online course. provides access to a range of useful OER in the areas of agriculture, health, teacher education, and foundation programmes. The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) in India provides a platform – called FlexiLearn – where a range of free learning resources are integrated with a learning management system to provide 52 OER are of particular value where resources are unique learning experiences ‘for anyone who wants to learn’. limited and the development of totally new content is too costly. As always, it is up to the institution offering the online course, through its programme/course coordinators and individual academics, to assure the quality of OER it uses. The relevance and appropriateness of OER used, as well as how they are integrated into the course, 53 It is also important to keep an eye on student workload and avoid confusing learners with a are crucial factors. profusion of optional resources. How can the structure of the virtual environment facilitate quality online 9 learning? Virtual learning environments (VLEs) consist of a wide range of tools, including: search engines, internet voice communication, instant messaging, chat groups, emails, RSS feeds, blogs, social networking platforms, online video conferencing platforms, learner management systems such as Moodle ( https://moodle.org/ ), Sakai ( http://www.sakaiproject.org/ ), Canvas ( www.instructure.com ) and BlackBoard ( www.blackboard.com ), and e-portfolio programmes such as Mahara ( http://www.learnerjourney. ), Learner Journey ( http://mahara.org com/ ), foliofor.me ( http://foliofor.me ), and ePortaro ( www.eportaro.com ), as well as in-house e-portfolio systems designed by specifi c universities (for example, the National University of Singapore developed a purpose built 54 In parallel, the gaming industry has been working on system called SELF – Student Electronic Learning Folio). 55 virtual environments for some time, and the educational potential of gaming is now increasingly clear. Virtual learning environments present many possibilities but also potential pitfalls, particularly when trying to 56 Although they have great potential, virtual transfer traditional teaching methods to virtual environments. 57 Designers of online learning must learning environments are often not used as innovatively as they might be. select the components of the virtual learning environment carefully, bearing in mind the needs and life situations 58 For example, older lifelong learners may need additional support in a virtual learning of the students. 59 However, age is not a barrier to online learning, for research shows that all students can learn environment. 60 well through technology; there is really no ‘digital generation’. In sum, a quality virtual learning environment is fi rmly based on the pedagogical needs of the course and its learners, is reliable and robust, is aligned with the technical infrastructure of the institution, and is regularly 61 subjected to internal evaluations, updating and improvements as needed. 9

12 What do web design and web usability factors contribute to quality? 10 The World Wide Web has features that are particularly useful for online learning. Examples include: the capacity to share rich media fi les such as images, complex diagrams, audio and video; the range of tools to support interaction and communication from email to bandwidth intensive forms, such as web-enabled video and teleconferencing; and the non-linearity of the platform-independent standards of hypertext markup language (HTML) and its successors, which provide a means for learners to create their own 62 Once again, however, the mere availability of these learning pathways though online learning materials. features does not mean that they are always deployed in an effective and user-friendly way. Some online courses are just ‘HTML page-turners’, where traditional linear methods of transmitting content are simply 63 So, what web design and usability factors should be considered in moved over to web technologies. assessing quality in online learning? The concept of usability originated in the discipline of Human-Computer-Interaction, which focuses on understanding how to make computing systems easy to use. Web usability refers to attributes such as 64 Researchers at the UK learnability, memorability, effi ciency, handling of user errors, and user satisfaction. 65 which is of special value for gauging Open University have developed the concept of ‘pedagogical usability’, the impact of web usability on the quality of online learning. Box 2 summarises key elements of pedagogical usability, which assumes that there are several layers of usability underlying quality online learning. These layers of usability are mutually dependent. For analytical purposes it is helpful to separate these layers of usability, but they should be applied in an integrated fashion. Mutually dependent levels of ‘Pedagogic Usability’ presented verbatim from Kukulaska-Hulme & Shield, 2004 Context specifi c usability relates to the requirements of particular disciplines and courses. Each course has its own needs and intended outcomes which make it different from other courses. Academic usability deals with educational issues, such as the pedagogical strategy, and the place of websites in relation to other course materials. Expected study behaviour also comes into play. The specifi cs of e-learning are considered at this level. General usability issues are common to most websites and include aspects such as clear navigation and accessibility for users with special needs. They may refl ect general HCI concerns or aspects that are specifi c to the web. Technical usability addresses issues such as broken links, server reliability, download times, appropriateness of plug-ins, and accurate HTML. This is also known as the ‘functional’ usability level. 10

13 How can you use media (video, graphics, audio, animation and simulation) to 11 enhance quality in online learning? Using different media in online learning, if done intentionally through the instructional design and not as an afterthought, can add value by increasing the variety of learning strategies employed, so catering more 66 Using multimedia materials can improve both the online learning effectively to multiple learning styles. experience and students’ ability to retain information. Further, video and audio materials can help to ‘bring a 67 With the rapid growth in course alive’ by invoking both visual and auditory senses in the learning process. ), iTunes University (where www.youtube.com freely available online video and audio content, for example, YouTube ( www.open.edu/openlearn/ ), most major universities provide various forms of learning content), OpenLearn ( www.ted.com/talks TED Talks ( ), Khan Academy ( ), and many others, educators http://www.khanacademy.org/ can now incorporate the voices of leading experts in their online courses. Institutions are also making increasing use of podcasts to bring online learners ‘into’ the college classroom. However, students sometimes seek podcasts for their entertainment value rather than their learning value, so they should be short, engaging, and carefully 68 Audio lectures integrated into the learning objectives and through the instructional design of the course. provide a learning benefi t when students listen to them more than once, taking notes as they would in a face-to-face lecture. When students engage with a podcast lecture like this they perform better than students who sit in 69 class but do not have the podcast. The value of simulations and/or role-playing environments in enhancing learning is increasingly clear and is great- 70 Simulations can serve various purposes. They est when a simulation is part of the overall instructional design. have been effective for procedural learning (e.g. medical procedures), for providing complex virtual contexts for problem-based learning, and for facilitating discovery-based learning. Used effectively, simulations can ‘site learners in a professional context, where there are aggregates of transactions, perhaps multiple solution paths, and where learners’ work is, as it will be in the workplace, distributed between tools, colleagues, resources, an- 71 One study ticipated and unanticipated problems and individual constructions of knowledge and experience.’ showed that when students used simulated equipment (direct current circuitry) for practical work in physics they 72 outperformed, both conceptually and practically, students who completed the same task in a physical laboratory. Simulation has important quality implications for distance education, where access to physical laboratories and other practical learning experiences is not always possible. In sum, multimedia resources can enhance quality in online learning most effectively when used purposefully as part of the instructional design of the course. Using them as an afterthought or for their entertainment value is unlikely to improve the quality of learning. What online assessment and assignment methodologies promote quality 12 learning? Assessment is a key element of curriculum design that is fundamental to the learning process. Assessment methods are of prime pedagogical importance because they largely determine how students approach their 73 Assessment should be planned and aligned with the learning outcomes within the instructional studies. design process (See FAQs 6 and 8) to enhance the quality of online learning. Assessment can be done by the instructor, by the student, by peers, or by an external body. Online learning environments offer increased fl exibility for assessment, and can be used to encourage the development of creativity, critical thinking and in-depth subject matter knowledge – each of which is essential for quality learning. Many different assessment techniques can be used in an online learning environment. They can be categorized broadly in terms of timing (synchronous or asynchronous) and in terms of location (formal, semi-formal, informal 11

14 settings). The Swedish National Agency for Higher Education (2008) has summarized the different ways in which online assessment can be organized, with an analysis of their pros and cons. 74 Different forms of online learning assessment organization Table 2 Assessment Location Drawbacks Benefi ts Formal* Infl exible in terms of time and location, Easy identifi cation additional costs Semi-formal** Easy identifi cation, moderate fl exibility Infl exible in terms of time, additional of location costs synchronous Semi-formal Additional costs Easy identifi cation, moderate fl exibility asynchronous of time and location Infl exible in terms of time, moderate Highly fl exibility of location, low costs Informal*** identifi cation concerns for students, no travel, accommodation, synchronous etc. needed Informal High identifi cation concerns. But, High fl exibility of time and location. asynchronous e.g. internet banking services have Low costs for students, no travel, well-developed systems for securing accommodation, etc. needed identify in this mode * On-Campus ** Localities not governed by the university but defi ned as learning centres, embassies etc. *** Can be anywhere, only restricted by technical requirements such as computer and/or internet access. 75 Many different types of assessment can be used online. A few are listed below, with links to additional reading. They are: Written assignments Participation in online discussions Essays Online quizzes Multiple choice questions to test understanding (formative) or as a test (summative) Collaborative assignment work Debates Experiential activities such as role play and simulation Learning portfolios How do you ensure examination security? 13 Examination or assessment security and authenticity is an important consideration in quality online learning. Those who are sceptical of the possibilities of online learning often raise it as an issue. We noted the value that online environments offer for fl exibility in assessment (FAQ 9), but if not managed well, this fl exibility can create problems of security and authentication. Remember, though, that issues of identifi cation – in the context of assignments – are not new in higher education. Assignments are usually completed outside class, raising similar challenges of being sure that students did their own assignments. Invigilation (proctoring) and the verifi cation of student identity is also common when students sit examinations, either at contact institutions or learning centres that work in partnership with distance providers. 12

15 Many technologies can ensure examination security in online settings. These include, for example, web cameras, 76 Depending on the context, written computer identifi cation, and fi nger scans (biometric authentication). examinations can also be verifi ed by live oral examinations or dialogues using video conferencing software. New examination security software also provides the means to ‘lock down’ the devices being used when taking 77 examinations, thus preventing access to non-examination materials. Plagiarism in online assignments (as well as within contact teaching) is becoming an increasing academic concern. Plagiarism is the intentional copying of the work of others, combined with the lack (often unintentional) of adequate acknowledgement and referencing. Various software programmes can detect plagiarism (see, for example, ). While detection of plagiarism is important, it is better to prevent the practice rather than http://turnitin.com 78 Online assessments merely having checks in place to detect it. Raising student awareness of the issue is key. can be designed in a manner that helps to reduce plagiarism. This can be done by varying the nature and frequency ofassignments, dividing assignments into their component parts, requiring a range of deliverable 79 products,and insisting on evidence of research and proper citation of sources. What strategies can you deploy for interaction and student community building? 14 80 Online learning takes place outside of ‘Communication and interaction are essential elements within learning’. a common physical space, so specifi c strategies are needed to encourage interaction and community building. Whether participation in learning communities should be required or optional remains an active debate but we 81 Instead, we focus on strategies for supporting interaction and community building, whether shall not tackle it here. participation is compulsory or not. Various factors can infl uence the type of interaction and learning community in a given online learning environment. They include the discipline, level of the course, the preference and style of 82 the instructor, types of students, and the purpose that interaction or community engagement is intended to serve. 83 chat rooms, collaborative projects, and learning Examples of activities include asynchronous online discussions, teams. Social networking systems such as Facebook ( www.facebook.com ) and Twitter ( https://twitter.com ) as well as blogs and wikis and Google Docs can be used effectively to support interaction and community 84 Strategies for supporting successful interaction and collaborative groups in online courses are building. 85 summarized in Box 3 below. Strategies for group learning activities Create transparency of expectations and purpose: Specifi c information about how and why the collaborative or interactive 1. activity is included should be provided and ensuring students are familiar with the collaborative tool being used should be done at the outset. 2. Provide clear instructions: One cannot assume that students will know how (and why) to interact or collaborate to form a learning community. Clear instructions, outlines, and due dates need to be provided as the basis from which collaborative work can start. Suffi cient time is needed to build relationships among students. 3. In an online learning context, research indicates that smaller groups – usually three to fi ve students – Form small groups: are more effective than larger groups were some students can ‘lurk in the background and not contribute.’ 4. Monitor and support: The online instructor should be available to support collaborative work and to participate in the inter action from time to time, and as needed by a particular group or emerging learning community. 5. Include etiquette guidelines: It should not be assumed that students participating in an online course or learning environment will necessarily share the same understanding of etiquette and how to work together. For this reason it is important for the instructor to map out initial guidelines for interaction. The different between cooperative work (where individual students each submit their own contribution) and collaborative work (where students work together as a team to produce one prod- uct) should be explained. 13

16 How can teaching and facilitation contribute to ensuring quality? 15 Although there is a common misperception that online learning takes place without teaching and/or facilitation, the 86 However, instructor or online learning facilitator in fact plays a crucial role in the quality of online learning. a good face-to-face teacher will not necessarily be a good online educator or facilitator. Professional 87 Several guides, development for teaching and facilitation in the online context is needed to underpin quality. 88 Some examples are guidelines, tips and other information are available to support the online educator. presented below. ‘[F]acilitating online learning is like any other situation where you work with human beings. It is important to share your warmth, to be curious about who your students are and how they think, to set a clear course, to provide encouragement, to be there.’ Online learning facilitators are required to take on multiple roles, such as planning (organising the course), modelling effective online behaviour, coaching and encouraging individuals and creating teams, taking the role of instructor and being willing to learn, and being a good 89 communicator. The University of Illinois notes that students should expect the following of their online learning facilitator: The facilitator should create a learning environment that makes use of life, work and educational experiences as part of creating a meaningful learning process. The facilitator should present the online curriculum and material in a manner that allows the student to translate theory into a practice. All students should be provided with multiple opportunities to develop and improve their performance throughout the course. Reasonable accommodation (fl exibility) for students’ context and needs should be made. Facilitators should listen to feedback provided by students. The facilitator should be concerned about and committed to students’ success. The facilitator should keep students up to date regarding their progress and performance on assessments. Timely and quality feedback should be provided to students based on their contributions to learning activities and collaborative tasks and discussions. Students should not expect lecturing in the online environment. Students should not be required to complete tests of memorisation. Case analysis, problem solving and interactive activities are preferable. All students should be treated politely and with respect. 90 The facilitator should be online every day or at least fi ve out of seven days a week. What support should students receive? 16 Students entering a contact course require information about the institution, the course, the library, computing resources, tutorials and so on. Online learners do too, and they need information to help them assess their readiness for online learning. This means giving out concrete information before they embark 91 You can access a on the course so that students can make informed decisions about this mode of study. useful example of a short quiz designed to help students assess whether they are ready for online learning at Washington Online, the online learning website of the Washington State Board for Community and Technical 92 Once enrolled, online learning students require support in various areas. The Open University of Colleges. 14

17 Hong Kong provides an online support programme (called ‘Learning OU Style’) that takes students through a series of steps in preparation for online learning. These steps include: getting set up for study, becoming a successful student, study skills, and a sample unit that students can work through to ‘get a taste of open 93 94 It is important that they know what support they can expect, and how to access it. The table learning’. below summarises key areas in which student support for quality online learning is needed. 95 Table 3 Student support for online learning Area of Support Description Expectations Service standards should be clear and easily available to online learners. Experience shows that students who opt to study online commonly expect to be able Information and to complete administrative processes, such as registration for example, online. It is administrative support recommended that regular student satisfaction surveys are conducted to ensure that administrative requirements are not a barrier to learning. Portals that are designed to be personalised tend to enhance the learner’s experience. Students need to know what technology requirements are needed prior to registration. Technological support Even so, students are likely to need ongoing technological support and this support should be clear and readily available. Information centres, helpdesks and call centres are commonly used to provide technological support. Sometimes online learners are adults returning to learning after sometime away, while open Study skills assistance learning courses might encounter students with little prior experience of post-school learning, or students might have not have experienced online learning before. For this reason, support regarding the specifi c types of learning and study skills needed in an online environment is needed. This support includes, for example, time management and study schedules, assistance with balancing educational and other life demands, tools to provide peer assistance and collaboration, assistance in working with digital and online learning materials, information about plagiarism and how it can be avoided, and assistance with the use of online library searches and other means of fi nding information. Educational and career counselling can be provided in a web environment. Well-prepared Online educational online resources (usually asynchronous) can assist students who might not have access to counselling a counsellor. Support in terms of learning pathway organisation and how best to spread coursework over Ongoing programme study years depending on the context of the specifi c learner is important. Advisors should advising help online learners to understand program requirements and how prior learning might match those requirements or how completely learning can be transferred when moving into a new or different learning program. Digital library The educational institution’s online library should be easily found among the institution’s web pages, should provide tutorials to guide new students, and access to personal assistance should be provided, if needed. Access for students In an online context services such as alternative formats for learning materials, advice about with disabilities assistive technologies, referrals as needed, and learning accommodations (within the bounds of regulations and policy) should be made available to online students with disabilities. 15

18 Annotated Reading List: Benchmarks for Quality Online Learning Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU) (no date). Quality Assurance Framework. http://www.aaou.org/ images/fi les/AAOU%20Quality%20Assurance%20Framework.pdf The AAOU quality assurance framework specifi es benchmarks of best practice in the areas of policy and planning; internal management; learners and learners’ profi les; infrastructure, media and learning resources; learner assessment and evaluation; research and community services; human resources; learner support; program design and curriculum development; and course design and development. Australasian Council on Open, Distance and e-Learning (2007). ACODE benchmarks for e-learning in universities and guidelines for use. http://www.acode.edu.au/resources/acodebmguideline0607.pdf The following benchmarks are highlighted by ACODE: institutional policy and governance for technology supported learning and teaching; planning for, and quality improvement of the integration of technologies for learning and teaching; information technology infrastructure to support learning and teaching; pedagogical application of information and communication technology; professional/staff development for the effective use of technologies for learning and teaching; staff support for the use of technologies for learning and teaching; student training for the effective use of technologies for learning; and student support for the use of technologies for learning. Bourne, J., & Moore, J.C (2003). Elements of Quality Online Education: Practice and Direction. USA: The Sloane Consortium. http://sloanconsortium.org/publications/books/eqoe4summary.pdf The vision of quality presented by the Sloan Consortium in this report highlights 5 elements, namely: learning effectiveness, cost effectiveness, access, faculty satisfaction, and student satisfaction. CHEA (2002). Accreditation and Assuring Quality in Distance Learning. CHEA Monograph Series 2002, Number 1. Washington DC: Council for Higher Education Accreditation http://www.chea.org/pdf/mono_1_accred_dis- tance_02.pdf The CHEA identifi es 7 key areas for consideration in accreditation and quality assurance processes for distance learning: institutional mission, institutional structure, institutional resources, curriculum and instruction, faculty support, student support, and student learning outcomes. Frydenberg (2002). Quality Standards in e-learning: A matrix of analysis. The International Journal of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 3(2). http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/109/189. Frydenberg summarizes nine quality benchmarks: institutional commitment, technology, student services, instructional design and course development, instruction and instructors, delivery, fi nances, regulatory and legal compliance, and evaluation. Grifoll, J., Huertas, E., Prades., A., Rodríguez, S., Rubin, Y., Mulder, F and Ossiannilsson, E (2009). Quality Assurance of E-learning. Helsinki: European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education. http://www.enqa.eu/ fi les/ENQA_wr_14.pdf This reports presents an overview of the discussions and challenges identifi ed at a quality assurance workshop held in Sweden. Amongst others, the report presents the National Agency for Higher Education (NAHE) in Sweden’s approach to quality assurance which emphasises the importance of a holistic approach and that eLearning needs to be integrated in overall quality assurance processes. Ten criteria have been formulated and all ten need to be taken into consideration in a holistic perspective (NAHE, 2008). The ten criteria are: material and content, structure and virtual environment, cooperation and interactivity, communication, student assessment, fl exibility and adaptability, support (student and staff), staff qualifi cations and experience, vision and institutional leadership, and resource allocation. Institute for Higher Education Policy (2000). Quality on the Line: Benchmarks for Success in Internet-based Distance Education. http://defi ant.corban.edu/jjohnson/Pages/Teaching/qualityonline.pdf With support from Blackboard and National Education Association, these authors developed 24 common benchmarks 16

19 for high quality online education in seven categories, namely: institutional support; course development; teaching/ learning; course structure, student support, faculty support, and evaluation and assessment. Jung, I (2010). The dimensions of e-learning quality: from learner’s perspective. Education Tech Research Development. http://taalim.ir/fi les/fulltext%20(2).pdf This paper discussed online learning quality criteria in the South Korea context. The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) has developed 95 detailed quality criteria for cyber universities in six domains: educational planning (clear mission and its integration in institutional policies), instruction (instructional design, content development, delivery and evaluation), human resources (students, academic faculty and administrative staff), physical resources (facilities, hardware and software/network system), management and administration, and educational results (stake- holder satisfaction and social recognition). Against this context, the paper presents the results of quality dimensions perceived by adult learners. The following seven dimensions were identifi ed: interaction, staff support, institutional quality assurance mechanisms, institutional credibility, learner support, information and publicity, and learning tasks. LIfIA and ElfEL (2004). Open eQuality Learning Standards. www.futured.com/documents/OeQLsMay2004_000.pdf Canada’s Open eQuality Learning Standards refl ect not only providers’ perspectives but also learners’ perceptions of e-learning quality. 22 areas for assessing quality across three dimensions, were cited as being of special interest to learners. The three dimensions are: learning skills acquired, value of the credits gained, and return on investment. McNaught, C (2011). Quality Assurance for Online Courses: From Policy to Process to Improvement. http://cms. ascilite.org.au/conferences/melbourne01/pdf/papers/mcnaughtc.pdf. This study identifi ed benchmarks in seven areas considered essential for ensuring quality in online education in the context of higher education, namely: clear planning, robust and reliable infrastructure, good support systems for staff and students (including training and written information), good channels of communication between staff and students, regular feedback to students on their learning, clear standards for courseware development, and ongoing evaluation with a strong student input. Oliver, R (2003). Exploring benchmarks and standards for assuring quality online teaching and learning in higher education. Proceedings of the 16th Open and Distance Learning Association of Australia Biennial Forum, http://ro.ecu.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4278&context=ecuworks. Canberra Australia. In this paper, Oliver provides the following summary benchmarking statements for a number of quality indicators for teaching and learning: learning and teaching plan, course establishment processes, scholarly teaching, teaching environment, effective academic review processes, manual for Australian universities, fi tness of courses, student progress ratio, fi rst to second year retention trends, equity quantitative success, and student satisfaction. Pape, L., & Wicks, M (2009). National Standards for Quality Online Courses. International Association (iNACOL) for K-12 Online Learning. http://gsehd.gwu.edu/documents/gsehd/resources/gwuohs-onlineresources/standard- slegislation/inacol_nationalstandardsonlineprograms-102009.pdf iNACOL focuses on establishing standards around the following components of online courses: content, instructional design, student assessment, technology, and course evaluation and support. In addition to these standards focused specifi cally on online courses, iNACOL has also produced standards for online teaching and online programs. For more information see: http://www.inacol.org/resources/publications/national-quality-standards/ Pawlowski, J.M (2007). The Quality Adaptation Module: Adaptation of the Quality Standard ISO-IEC 19796-1 for Learning, Education and Training. Educational Technology and Society, 10(2), 3-16. www.ifets.info/journals/10_2/2.pdf The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has developed ‘a framework to describe, compare, analyze, and implement quality management and QA approaches’ in the use of information technology in learning, education and training which includes seven processes for quality development: establishment of requirements (i.e., defi ning objectives), general conditions (i.e., analyses of external context, personnel resources and target group), design (i.e., design of learning content, didactics and activities), production (i.e., development of content), introduction (i.e., testing, adaptation and release of learning resources), implementation (i.e., administration, activities and review of 17

20 competence level), and evaluation/optimization. In this paper, Pawlowski presents a methodology and assessment of the ISO/IEC criteria in the context of education. For further information, see http://www.iso.org/iso/iso_catalogue/catalogue_tc/catalogue_detail.htm?csnumber=33934 Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) (2006). Outcomes from institutional audit Institutions’ support for e-learning. UK: QAA. http://www.qaa.ac.uk/Publications/InformationAndGuidance/Documents/eLearning.pdf In the UK context, the QAA has developed guidelines on the quality assurance of distance learning. Features of good practice are identifi ed in connection with e-learning and distance learning. Quality Matters (QM) Rubric Standards 2011-2013 edition. www.qmprogram.org. The Quality Matters Rubric is a set of eight standards, with 41 specifi c indicators that can be used to evaluate quality of the design of online and blended learning courses. The rubric emphases the alignment of learning objectives, assessment and measurement, instructional materials, learner interaction and engagement, and course technology in order to ensure students achieve the specifi ed learning outcomes. Shattuck, K., & Diehl, W.C (2011). Scholarly research that informed and supported the development of the 2011- 2013 Quality Matters in Higher Education Rubric. www.qmprogram.org. This document presents a very useful summary of key literature of relevance to quality in online learning. For each source listed a short summary of the main fi ndings is presented. Swedish National Agency for Higher Education (2008). E-learning quality. Aspects and criteria for evaluation of e-learn- http://www.hsv.se/download/18.8f0e4c9119e2b4a60c800028057/0811R.pdf ing in higher education. Report 2008:11 R. This report draws on the work of Swedish National Agency for Higher Education (HSV) in the area of quality in distance and e-learning since 2006. Based on an extensive review of existing models of e-learning quality, the HSV offers a model for quality assessment of e-learning (ELQ) in E-Learning Quality which is made up of 10 quality dimensions: material/content, structure/virtual environment, communication, cooperation and interactivity, student assessment, fl exibility and adaptability, support (for students and staff), staff qualifi cations and experience, vision and institutional leadership, and resource allocation. Ubachs, G (2009). ENQA Workshop. Quality Assurance of E-learning. European Association of Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU). http://www.enqa.eu/fi les/George%20Ubachs%20E-xcellence%20+%20Sigtuna.pdf EADTU has developed the E-xcellence manual, which is described in this presentation. The manual offers a self- assessment tool which contains 33 benchmarks in six categories, including: strategic management, curriculum design, course design, course delivery, staff support, and student support. For additional information or to access the E-xcellence manual see http://e-xcellencelabel.eadtu.eu/. Welch, T., & Reed, Y (Eds) (no date). Designing and Delivering Distance Educations: Quality Criteria and Case Studies from South Africa. Johannesburg: National Association of Distance Education Organizations of South Africa (NADEOSA). http://www.nadeosa.org.za/resources/reports/NADEOSA%20QC%20Section%201.pdf. This comprehensive guide, that also includes useful case studies from South Africa, presents 212 individual quality elements in thirteen criteria: policy and planning, learners, program development, course design, course materials, assessment, learner support, human resource strategy, management and administration, collaborative relationships, quality assurance, information dissemination, and results. Western Cooperative for Education Telecommunications (no date). Best Practices for Electronically Offered Degree and Certifi cate Programs. http://www.niu.edu/assessment/manual/_docs/Best%20Practices.pdf This best practice guide was developed by the eight regional accrediting commissions in the USA, and includes 29 best practices in fi ve quality components, namely: institutional context and commitment, curriculum and instruction, faculty support, student support, and evaluation and assessment. 18

21 The Authors Neil Butcher Based in Johannesburg, South Africa, Neil Butcher provides policy and technical advice and support to national and international client institutions, helping them with the transformations required to harness distance education, educational technology and Open Educational Resources effectively. He worked at the South African Institute for Distance Education (SAIDE) from 1993 to 2001 and is now Director of Neil Butcher & Associates. In that capacity he is currently a consultant to the World Bank on projects in Indonesia and India and is supporting the University of South Africa (Africa’s largest distance education institution) in creating a new organizational architecture for a digital future. Merridy Wilson-Strydom Based in Bloomfontein, South Africa, Merridy Wilson-Strydom did a MPhil in Development Studies at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar and a PhD in Higher Education Studies at the University of the Free State. After starting her academic career at the University of the Witwatersrand, she worked as an educational research consultant at Neil Butcher and Associates (NBA) for six years before joining the University of the Free State. She is currently head of monitoring and institutional research in the Directorate for Institutional Research and Academic Planning and has published widely on higher education. 19

22 The Editors Stamenka Uvalić-Trumbić Based in Paris, France, Stamenka Uvalić-Trumbić was Secretary-General of the Association of Universities of Yugoslavia before a 20-year career at UNESCO, where she led a higher education unit focused on reform, innovation and quality assurance. Named International Higher Education Professional of the Year in 2010, she is now a Senior Advisor to Academic Partnerships, an Education Master at China’s DeTao Masters Academy and Advisor for International Affairs to the Council for Higher Education Accreditation’s International Quality Group. Sir John Daniel Based in Vancouver, Canada, Sir John Daniel is 40-year veteran of open and distance learning. After 17 years as a university president in Canada (Laurentian University) and the UK (The Open University), he became Assistant Director-General for Education at UNESCO and later President of the Commonwealth of Learning. A Senior Advisor to Academic Partnerships, he is also Education Master at China’s DeTao Masters Academy and Chair of the International Board of the United World Colleges. 20

23 Endnotes 1 Oliver, R. (2001). Assuring the Quality of Online Learning in Australian Higher Education. In M. Wallace, A. Ellis & D. Newton (Eds). Proceedings of Moving Online II Conference (pp. 222- 231). Lismore: Southern Cross University. 2 Daniel, J. (2011). Making Sense of MOOCs: Musings in a Maze of Myth, Paradox and Possibility. http://www.academicpartnerships.com/research/ white-paper-making-sense-of-moocs 3 http://www.study2u.com/online-learning 4 Frydenberg, J. (2002). Quality Standards in e-Learning: A Matrix of Analysis. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning. Vol 3(2) . Retrieved from http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/109/189 | http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-online-learning.htm 5 http://www.utas.edu.au/learning-teaching-online/old-mylo/about-teaching-online/what-is-online-teaching-and-learning 6 http://www.online.colostate.edu/onlinedistance/online-learning.dot 7 https://www.coursera.org/ 8 https://www.udacity.com/ 9 http://futurelearn.com/ 10 http://www.academicpartnerships.com/ 11 The founding member universities included: Albert-Ludwig University in Freiburg (Germany), Fudan University (China), Lund University (Sweden), McGill University (Canada), National University of Singapore, University of Auckland (New Zealand), University of Birmingham (UK), University of British Columbia (Canada), University of Edinburgh (UK), University of Glasgow (UK), University of Hong Kong, University of Melbourne (Australia), University of New South Wales (Australia), University of Nottingham (UK), University of Queensland (Australia) and University of Virginia (US). (See http://www.u21global.edu.sg/Education/About/U21G/History for additional information) 12 Ehlers, U.D (2004). Quality in e-Learning from a Learner’s Perspective. Paper presented at the Third EDEN Research Workshop in Oldenburg, Germany. http://www.eurodl.org/materials/contrib/2004/Online_Master_COPs.html taalim.ir/fi les/fulltext%20 See also: Jung, I (2010). The dimensions of e-learning quality: from a learner’s perspective. Education Tech Research Development. (2).pdf. LIfIA and ElfEL (2004). Open eQuality Learning Standards. http://futured.com/documents/OeQLsMay2004_000.pdf. 13 Jara, M., and Mellar, H. (2007). Exploring the mechanisms for assuring quality of e-learning courses in UK Higher Education Institutions. Retrieved from http://www.eurodl.org/materials/contrib/2007/Jara_Mellar.htm 14 http://www.qmprogram.org/higher-education-program 15 Swedish National Agency for Higher Education. (2008). E-learning quality- Aspects and criteria for evaluation of e-learning in higher education. Australasian Council on Open Distance and e-Learning. (2007). ACODE benchmarks for e-learning in universities and guidelines for use. (http://www.acode.edu/au/resources/acodebmguideline0607.pdf) Commission of Institutions of Higher Education. (no date). Best Practices for Electronically Offered Degree and Certifi cate Programs 16 Swedish National Agency for Higher Education. (2008). E-learning quality- Aspects and criteria for evaluation of e-learning in higher education. CHEA Institute for Research and Study of Accreditation and Quality Assurance (2002). Accreditation and Assuring Quality in Distance Learning. CHEA Monograph Series 2002, Number 1 17 Frydenberg, J. (2002). Quality Standards in e-Learning: A Matrix of Analysis. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning. Vol 3(2). Retrieved from http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/109/189 18 Australasian Council on Open Distance and e-Learning. (2007). ACODE benchmarks for e-learning in universities and guidelines for use. Retrieved from http://www.acode.edu/au/resources/acodebmguideline0607.pdf Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU) (no date). Quality Assurance Framework. http://www.aaou.org/images/fi les/AAOU%20Quality%20 Assurance%20Framework.pdf 19 Commission of Institutions of Higher Education. (no date). Best Practices for Electronically Offered Degree and Certifi cate Programs. http://www.aaup.org/NR/rdonlyres/BBA85B72-20E9-4F62-B8B5-CDFF03CD8A53/0/WICHEDOC.PDF 20 http://www.unisa.ac.za/Default.asp?Cmd=ViewContent&ContentID=2566 21 Rockwell, K., Schauer, J., Fritz, S.M., Marx, D.B. (2000). Faculty education, assistance and support needed to deliver education via distance. Online Journal of Distance Education Administration, 3(2), Retrieved from http://www.westga.edu/~distance/rockwell32.html 22 Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (2008). Outcomes from institutional audit. Institutions’ frameworks for managing quality and academic standards. Second Series. United Kingdom. http://www.qaa.ac.uk/Publications/InformationAndGuidance/Documents/frameworksqualitystandards.pdf Council on Higher Education (2004). Criteria for Institutional Audits. Pretoria South Africa. http://www.che.ac.za/documents/d000061/ Commonwealth of Learning (2009). Quality Assurance Toolkit for Distance Higher Education Institutions and Programmes. http://www.col.org/ SiteCollectionDocuments/HE_QA_Toolkit_web.pdf 23 Beso, A., Bollaert, L., Curvale, B., Jensen, H.T., Harvey, L., Helle, E., Maguire, B., Mikkola, A., & Sursock, A. (2008). Implementing and Using Quality Assurance: Strategy and Practice. A Selection of Papers from the 2nd European Quality Assurance Forum. Brussels: The European University Association. www.eua.be/typo3conf/ext/bzb_securelinl/pushFile.php?cuid=4008fi le=fi leadmin/user-upload/fi les/Publications/Implementing_and_Using_Qual- ity_Assurance_fi nal.pdf 24 Hodson, P., & Thomas, H (2003). Quality assurance in Higher Education. Fit for the new millennium or simply year 2000 compliant? Higher Education, 45: 375-387. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1023/A%3A1022665818216#page-1 El-Khawas, E. (1998). Quality Assurance in Higher Education: Recent Progress; Challenges Ahead. Paper prepared (with support from the World Bank) for the UNESCO World Conference on Higher Education, Paris, 1998. www.citseerx.ist.psu.edu. Srikanthan, G., & Dalrymple, J (2003). Developing alternative perspectives for quality in higher education. International Journal of Educational Management, 17(3): 126-136. http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?articleid=838849&show=abstract 21

24 Endnotes 25 Redder, L.A. (2010). Quality Assurance in professional higher education institutions. The structure of internal quality assurance systems and the experienced costs. Masters Thesis. Centre for Higher Education and Policy Studies (CHEPS), University of Twente, Netherlands. http://essay. utwente.nl/60414/1/MA_thesis_L_Redder.pdf 26 Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (2008). Outcomes from institutional audit. Institutions’ frameworks for managing quality and academic standards. Second Series. United Kingdom. http://www.qaa.ac.uk/Publications/InformationAndGuidance/Documents/frameworksqualitystandards.pdf Council on Higher Education (2004). Criteria for Institutional Audits. Pretoria South Africa. http://www.che.ac.za/documents/d000061/ Beso, A., Bollaert, L., Curvale, B., Jensen, H.T., Harvey, L., Helle, E., Maguire, B., Mikkola, A., & Sursock, A. (2008). Implementing and Using Quality Assurance: Strategy and Practice. A Selection of Papers from the 2nd European Quality Assurance Forum. Brussels: The European University www.eua.be/typo3conf/ext/bzb_securelinl/pushFile.php?cuid=4008fi le=fi leadmin/user-upload/fi les/Publications/Implement- Association. ing_and_Using_Quality_Assurance_fi nal.pdf Redder, L.A. (2010). Quality Assurance in professional higher education institutions. The structure of internal quality assurance systems and the experienced costs. Masters Thesis. Centre for Higher Education and Policy Studies (CHEPS), University of Twente, Netherlands. http://essay.utwente.nl/60414/1/MA_thesis_L_Redder.pdf 27 Loukkola, T., & Zhang, T (2010). Examining Quality Culture: Part 1 – Quality Assurance Processes in Higher Education Institutions. European University Association. http://www.eua.be/pubs/Examining_Quality_Culture_Part_1.pdf 28 The Federation for Continuing Education in Tertiary Institutions (2004). Quality Assurance Policies and Procedures of Member Institutions. Uni versity of Hong Kong: Hong Kong. http://www.fce.edu.hk/fi les/QAmanual.pdf 29 Hénard, F., & Mitterle, A. (no date). Governance and quality guidelines in Higher Education. A review of governance arrangements and quality assurance guidelines. Paris: OECD. http://www.oecd.org/edu/imhe/46064461.pdf 30 Commonwealth of Learning (2009). Quality Assurance Toolkit for Distance Higher Education Institutions and Programmes. http://www.col.org/ SiteCollectionDocuments/HE_QA_Toolkit_web.pdf University of Oxford (2008). Quality Assurance Handbook. http://www.admin.ox.ac.uk/media/ global/wwwadminoxacuk/localsites/educationcommittee/documents/QA_Handbook.pdf 31 Loukkola, T., & Zhang, T (2010). Examining Quality Culture: Part 1 – Quality Assurance Processes in Higher Education Institutions. European University Association. http://www.eua.be/pubs/Examining_Quality_Culture_Part_1.pdf 32 Oliver, R. (2001). Assuring the Quality of Online Learning in Australian Higher Education. In M. Wallace, A. Ellis & D. Newton (Eds). Proceedings of Moving Online II Conference (pp 222-231). Lismore: Southern Cross University. 33 Frydenberg, J. (2002). Quality Standards in e-Learning: A Matrix of Analysis. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning. Vol 3(2). Retrieved from http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/109/189 34 http://www.contactnorth.ca/tips-tools/how-assess-costs-online-learning-post-secondary-education 35 Oliver, R. (2001). Assuring the Quality of Online Learning in Australian Higher Education. In M. Wallace, A. Ellis & D. Newton (Eds). Proceedings of Moving Online II Conference (pp 222-231). Lismore: Southern Cross University. 36 Swedish National Agency for Higher Education. (2008). E-learning quality- Aspects and criteria for evaluation of e-learning in higher education. 37 Swedish National Agency for Higher Education. (2008). E-learning quality- Aspects and criteria for evaluation of e-learning in higher education. 38 http://www.contactnorth.ca/tips-tools/how-assess-costs-online-learning-post-secondary-education 39 Ehlers, U.D (2004). Quality in e-Learning from a Learner’s Perspective. Paper presented at the Third EDEN Research Workshop in Oldenburg, Germany. http://www.eurodl.org/materials/contrib/2004/Online_Master_COPs.html http://taalim.ir/fi les/full- Jung, I (2010). The dimensions of e-learning quality: from a learner’s perspective. Education Tech Research Development. LIfIA and ElfEL (2004). Open eQuality Learning Standards. http://futured.com/documents/OeQLsMay2004_000.pdf. text%20(2).pdf. 40 Ehlers, U.D (2004). Quality in e-Learning from a Learner’s Perspective. Paper presented at the Third EDEN Research Workshop in Oldenburg, Germany. 41 Ehlers, U.D (2004). Quality in e-Learning from a Learner’s Perspective. Paper presented at the Third EDEN Research Workshop in Oldenburg, Germany. 42 Ehlers, U.D (2004). Quality in e-Learning from a Learner’s Perspective. Paper presented at the Third EDEN Research Workshop in Oldenburg, Germany. See also, CHEA Institute for Research and Study of Accreditation and Quality Assurance (2002). Accreditation and Assuring Quality in Distance Learning. CHEA Monograph Series 2002, Number 1 43 http://www.intulogy.com/addie/design-document.html 44 IEEE (2001). Reference Guide for Instructional Design and Development. http://www-users.cs.york.ac.uk/~idb/ieee.instruct.pdf 45 Codone, S (no date). Measuring Quality in the Production of Web-based Training: Instructional Design, Process Control, and User Satisfaction. Raytheon Technical Services Company. Pensacola, Florida. http://faculty.mercer.edu/codone_s/tco290/tm028_0829.pdf 46 www.spsu.edu/instructionaldesign 47 http://www.spsu.edu/instructionaldesign/course_design/resources/bestpractices.pdf 48 Parscal, T., and Riemer, D. (no date). Assuring Quality in Large-Scale Online Course Development. Available at http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ ojdla/summer132/parscal_riemer132.html 49 Some example include: http://www.spsu.edu/instructionaldesign/course_design/resources/index.htm http://www.hfi dtc.com/research/training/training-reports/phase-1/2-1-5-2-elearning-design-guidelines.pdf Boettcher, JV (2006). Designing for Learning. Instructional Design in a Nutshell. http://www.designingforlearning.info/services/writing/nutshell.htm | http://www.saide.org.za/design-guide/ Commonwealth of Learning (2005). Creating Learning Materials for Open and Distance Learning. Paris: Commonwealth of Learning. http://www.saide.org.za/design-guide/sites/default/fi les/course_design/odlinstdesignHB.pdf Randall, C (2006). Resources for new ways of learning. A manual for developers of learning resources. Polokwane: Limpopo Department of Education. 22

25 Endnotes http://www.saide.org.za/design-guide/sites/default/fi les/course_design/Resources%20for%20new%20ways%20of%20learning%20revised.pdf 50 http://www.saide.org.za/design-guide/12-open-educational-resources http://www.oerafrica.org/understandingoer/UnderstandingOER/tabid/56/Default.aspx http://www.oerafrica.org/ResourceResults/tabid/1562/mctl/Details/id/39016/Default.aspx http://www.ocwconsortium.org/ 51 www.oerafrica.org 52 http://www.ignoufl exilearn.ac.in/fl exilearn/ 53 Commonwealth of Learning, (2011). A Basic Guide to Open Educational Resources (OER). Canada: Commonwealth of Learning, and UNESCO. http://www.col.org/resources/publications/Pages/detail.aspx?PID=357 54 Tan, I (2003). Designing an electronic portfolio system for a large research university in Asia. Centre for Instructional Technology, National University of Singapore. http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/EDU03140a.pdf 55 Swedish National Agency for Higher Education. (2008). E-learning quality- Aspects and criteria for evaluation of e-learning in higher education. 56 Stiles, MJ (2000). Effective Learning and the Virtual Learning Environment. Keynote at the 2000 European Universities Information Systems Congress. Poland. http://www.staffs.ac.uk/COSE/cose10/posnan.html 57 Dutton, W.H; Cheong, P.H., & Park, N (2004). The Social Shaping of a Virtual Learning Environment: The Case of a University-wide course management system. Electronic Journal of e-Learning, 2(1):69-70. http://www.inf.ufes.br/~cvnascimento/artigos/issue1-art3-dutton-cheong-park.pdf 58 Van Raaij, EM., & Schepers, JJL (2008). The acceptance and use of a virtual learning environment in China. Computers and Education, 50(3): 838-853. Chou, S-W; and Liu, C-H (2005). Learning effectiveness in a Web-based virtual learning environment: a learner control perspective. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 21(1): 65-76. 59 Swedish National Agency for Higher Education. (2008). E-learning quality- Aspects and criteria for evaluation of e-learning in higher education. 60 Jones, C. and Hosein, A. (2010). Profi ling University Students’ Use of Technology: Where Is the Net Generation Divide? The International Journal of Technology Knowledge and Society Vol. 6 (3) pp 43-58 61 Australasian Council on Open Distance and e-Learning. (2007). ACODE benchmarks for e-learning in universities and guidelines for use. (http://www.acode.edu/au/resources/acodebmguideline0607.pdf) Swedish National Agency for Higher Education. (2008). E-learning quality- Aspects and criteria for evaluation of e-learning in higher education. 62 Frydenberg, J. (2002). Quality Standards in e-Learning: A Matrix of Analysis. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning. Vol 3(2). Retrieved from http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/109/189 63 Frydenberg, J. (2002). Quality Standards in e-Learning: A Matrix of Analysis. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning. Vol 3(2). Retrieved from http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/109/189 64 Storey, M-A., Phillips, B., Maczewski, M., & Wang, M. (no date). Evaluating the Usability of Web-based Learning Tools. Departments of Computer Science and Psychology. University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. http://web.mit.edu/16.459/www/Weblearn1.pdf 65 Kukulska-Hulme, A., & Shield, L (2004). The Keys to Usability in e-Learning Websites. Proceedings of the Networked Learning Conference 2004. http://www.networkedlearningconference.org.uk/past/nlc2004/proceedings/individual_papers/kukulska_shield.htm. 66 Genden, S (2005). The Use of Multimedia in Online Distance Learning. Wayne State University. http://www.gendendesign.net/pdfs/MultimediaUse.pdf 67 Hartsell, T., & Yuen, S. C-Y (2006). Video streaming in online learning. AACE Journal, 14 (1). 68 Block, R & Godsk, M (2009). Podcasts in Higher Education: What Students Want, What They Really Need, and How this Might be Supported. In T. Bastiaens et al. (Eds), Proceedings for World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education 2009 (pp. 117-128). http://www.editlib.org/p/32442 69 McKinney, D., Dyke, J.L., & Luber, E.S (2009). iTunes University and the Classroom: Can Podcasts replace Professors? Computers & Education, 52: 617-623. http://www.brown.uk.com/teaching/qualitativepostgrad/mckinney.pdf 70 See for example, Aldrich, C (2005). Learning by Doing: A Comprehensive Guide to Simulations, Computer Games and Pedagogy in e-Learning and Other Educational Experiences. John Wiley and Sons. Finkelstein, N.D., Adams, W.K., Keller, C.J., Kohl, P.B., Perkins, K.K., Podolefsky, N.S., & Reid, S (2005). When learning about the real work is better done virtually: A study of substituting computer simulations for laboratory equipment. Physics Education Research, 1, 010103. http://www.colorado.edu/physics/EducationIssues/papers/CCKe010103.pdf Gredler, M.E (2004). Games and Simulations and their Relationships to Learning. http://www.coulthard.com/library/Files/gredler_2004_gamesandsimsandrelationtolearning.pdf 71 Maharg, P., Owen, M (2007). Simulations, learning and the metaverse: changing cultures in legal education. Journal of Information, Law, Technology, 1. http://lsi.typepad.com/lsi/fi les/simulations_learning_and_the_metaverse.pdf 72 Finkelstein, N.D., Adams, W.K., Keller, C.J., Kohl, P.B., Perkins, K.K., Podolefsky, N.S., & Reid, S (2005). When learning about the real work is better done virtually: A study of substituting computer simulations for laboratory equipment. Physics Education Research, 1, 010103. http://www.colo- rado.edu/physics/EducationIssues/papers/CCKe010103.pdf 73 Swedish National Agency for Higher Education. (2008). E-learning quality- Aspects and criteria for evaluation of e-learning in higher education. Commonwealth of Learning (2005). Creating Learning Materials for Open and Distance Learning. Paris: Commonwealth of Learning. http://www. saide.org.za/design-guide/sites/default/fi les/course_design/odlinstdesignHB.pdf Randall, C (2006). Resources for new ways of learning. A manual for developers of learning resources. Polokwane: Limpopo Department of Education. http://www.saide.org.za/design-guide/sites/default/fi les/ course_design/Resources%20for%20new%20ways%20of%20learning%20revised.pdf 74 Swedish National Agency for Higher Education. (2008). E-learning quality- Aspects and criteria for evaluation of e-learning in higher education. 75 http://www.saide.org.za/design-guide/24-how-will-we-know-learners-have-learned-engagement-assessment-feedback 23

26 Endnotes http://www.saide.org.za/design-guide/sites/default/fi les/course_design/NADEOSA%20Quality%20Criteria%20-%20Assessment.pdf http://pre2005.fl exiblelearning.net.au/guides/assessment.pdf Commission of Institutions of Higher Education. (no date). Best Practices for Electronically Offered Degree and Certifi cate Programs. Parscal, T., and Riemer, D. (no date). Assuring Quality in Large-Scale Online Course Development. Southern Regional Education Board. (2003). Essential Available at http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/summer132/parscal_riemer132.html Principles of High-Quality Online Teaching. 76 Sarrayrih, M.A., & Ilyas, M. (2013). Challenges of Online Exam, Performances and problems for Online University Exam. International Journal of Computer Science Issues, 10(1). http://ijcsi.org/papers/IJCSI-10-1-1-439-443.pdf Sheshadri, R., Reddy, T.C. Kumar, N.A (2011). Web-Based-Secure Online Non-Choice-Based Examination System (WONES) using Cryptography. International Journal of Computer Science and Engineering (IJCSE), 3(10). http://www.enggjournals.com/ijcse/doc/IJCSE11-03-10-113.pdf Swedish National Agency for Higher Education. (2008). E-learning quality- Aspects and criteria for evaluation of e-learning in higher education. For an example of a system supporting these sorts of security procedures, see http://www.blog.epravesh.com/?p=1174, and http://www.eklavvya.in/ 77 See for example, Software Secure http://www.slideshare.net/SoftwareSecure/protect-academic-integrity-in-online-exam-environments-without- sacrifi cing-student-convenience 78 Australian National Training Authority (2002). Assessment of Online Teaching. Australian Flexible Learning Quick Guide Series. http://pre2005. fl exiblelearning.net.au/guides/assessment.pdf Jacoy, C., DiBiase, D (2006). Plagiarism and Adult Learners Online: A case study in detection and remediation. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 7(1). http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/242/466 79 McCord, A (2008). Improving Online Assignments to Deter Plagiarism. TCC 2008 Proceedings. http://etec.hawaii.edu/proceedings/2008/McCord2008.pdf 80 Australian National Training Authority (2002). Assessment of Online Teaching. Australian Flexible Learning Quick Guide Series. http://pre2005. fl exible- (pg. 7). http://onlinelearninginsights.wordpress.com/2012/03/24/why-we-need-group-work-in-online-learning/ learning.net.au/guides/assessment.pdf 81 For some resources relevant to this debate, see Brook, C., & Oliver, R. (2003). Online learning communities: Investigating a design framework. Australian Journal of Educational Technology, 19(2): 139-160. Australian National Training Authority (2002). Assessment of Online Teaching. Australian Flexible Learning Quick Guide Series. http://pre2005. fl exiblelearning.net.au/guides/assessment.pdf 82 Brook, C., & Oliver, R. (2003). Online learning communities: Investigating a design framework. Australian Journal of Educational Technology, 19(2): 139-160. Curtis, D.D., & Lawson, M.J (2001). Exploring Collaborative Online Learning. JALN, 5(1). http://wikieducator.org/images/6/60/ALN_Collabora- tive_Learning.pdf 83 Swan, K (2002). Building Learning Communities in Online Courses: the importance of interaction. Education, Communication and Information, 2(1): 23-49. http://portfolio.educ.kent.edu/daltone/cmc/articles/dg_swan.pdf 84 http://www.saide.org.za/design-guide/13-technology-supported-teaching-and-learning 85 Morrison, D. (2012). 5 Tools and Strategies that Support Group Collaboration Online. http://onlinelearninginsights.wordpress. com/2012/10/09/5-tools-and-strategies-that-support-group-collaboration-online/ 86 http://scienceonline.terc.edu/facilitating_online_learning.html 87 Rockwell, K., Schauer, J., Fritz, S.M., Marx, D.B. (2000). Faculty education, assistance and support needed to deliver education via distance. Online Journal of Distance Education Administration, 3(2), Retrieved from http://www.westga.edu/~distance/rockwell32.html 88 Some examples include: http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/onlinefacilitation.htm#tools http://scienceonline.terc.edu/facilitating_online_learning.html http://pre2005.fl exiblelearning.net.au/guides/facilitation.html http://www.ion.uillinois.edu/resources/tutorials/pedagogy/instructorProfi le.asp http://mindgatemedia.com/2011/03/14/the-ten-crucial-roles-of-the-online-instructor/ 89 Heuer, B.P. & King, K (2004). Leading the Band: The Role of the Instructor in Online Learning for Educators. The Journal of Interactive Online Learning, 3(1). http://olms.cte.jhu.edu/olms/data/resource/5952/The%20Role%20of%20the%20Instructor%20in%20Online%20Learning%20for%20Educators.pdf 90 http://www.ion.uillinois.edu/resources/tutorials/pedagogy/instructorProfi le.asp Adapted from, 91 Martinez, S., Torres, H., & Giesel, V (2006). Online Student Support Services. A Best Practices Monograph. Determining Student Readiness for Online Instruction. http://www.onlinestudentsupport.org/Monograph/readiness.php Roper, A.R (2007). How Students Develop Online Learning Skills. EDUCAUSE Quarterly. http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/how-students-devel- op-online-learning-skills 92 http://www.waol.org/getstarted/IsOnline4Me.asp 93 http://www.ouhk.edu.hk/~etpwww/oustyle/e_oustyle.html See: 94 Hughes, J.A. (2004). Chapter 15. Supporting the Online Learner. In T. Anderson & F. Elloumi (eds). Theory and Practice of Online Learning. Canada: Athabasca University. http://cde.athabascau.ca/online_book/pdf/TPOL_book.pdf 95 Adapted from Hughes, J.A. (2004). Chapter 15. Supporting the Online Learner. In T. Anderson & F. Elloumi (eds). Theory and Practice of Online Learning. Canada: Athabasca University. http://cde.athabascau.ca/online_book/pdf/TPOL_book.pdf 24

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