Quality e learning_africa_2013

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  • The Partnership for Higher Education in Africa (PHEA) Educational Technology Initiative (ETI) supported the use of educational technology at seven sub-Saharan African universities over 4 years. This included 11 projects involving mounting of online/blended courses.
  • Quality Assurance aims to promote effective teaching and learning that results in the construction of appropriate knowledge and skills Star is what we focussed onTo ensure high quality output, a thorough quality improvement process was initiated as part of this process
  • As part of the quality assurance and capacity building aspects of the project, courses went through a review process to ensure high quality deliverables.
  • Workshops co-facilitated by internal institutional project support team (where possible)
  • Group review - facilitated by external project support team, encouraged to conduct self-reflection on courses under development
  • 28 criteria across 4 areas using a rating scale together with commentsSome explanation of our 3 worksheet approach: a) course info and how to accessb) Criteria to be rated and specific commentsc) Summary page identifying areas for improvement etc for each categoryNote: did not include accessibility in criteria
  • Purpose: provide feedback to course developers with an objective assessment of strengths and weaknessesExternal reviewer reports also included specific recommendations for improvement for each course reviewed.
  • The project team provided support to course developers in implementing recommendations from external reviewers
  • Purpose: assess the efficacy of the review process
  • Course Developers – via survey monkey - structuredReviewers – via email feedback – unstructured?
  • Course Developers – via survey monkey - structuredReviewers – via email feedback – unstructured?
  • BM: Have made a few additions
  • Quality e learning_africa_2013

    1. 1. Embedding Quality Assurance in Online Courses at African Universities Greig Krull, Brenda Mallinson and Ephraim Mhlanga 31 May 2013 Windhoek
    2. 2. Outline Project Background Quality Assurance Processes Successes and Challenges Outcomes Reflection and Discussion
    3. 3. PHEA ETI Project Background Vision is “to support interventions in universities to make increasingly effective use of educational technology to address some of the underlying educational challenges facing the higher educational sector in Africa” Specific objective relevant for this presentation: • Build academic capacity in quality online course design and delivery through use of a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) for mounting over 140 online / blended courses
    4. 4. 7 participating sub-Saharan Africa HEIs University of Education Winneba (Ghana) University of Jos (Nigeria) University of Ibadan (Nigeria) Makerere University (Uganda) Kenyatta University (Kenya) University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) Catholic University of Mozambique
    5. 5. Motivation • Universities have defined policies and procedures to ensure the quality of traditional courses… • However, when academics start to convert existing courses for online delivery, quality assurance is often an afterthought • To ensure high quality output, a thorough quality improvement process was initiated 1. 2. Online/Blended Course Quality Improvement Process Institutional Quality Assurance Systems and Processes
    6. 6. Quality Assurance and Capacity Building Process for Course Development 1 Course Design 6 2 Review External Evaluation Internal Review 3 5 Course Revision 4 External Review External Review Preparation
    7. 7. Step 1: Course Design & Development • Academics identified courses for online/blended design • Participated in capacity building workshops – Effective online course design and development – VLE functionality (Moodle) – Facilitated by external project support team • Developed their courses between workshops
    8. 8. Step 2: Internal Peer Review • Undertook peer review of course development progress within project groups • Revised courses taking initial peer review into account • Where relevant, make use of subject matter experts for content review • Received continued support from internal institutional team
    9. 9. Step 3: External Review Preparation Self Review of Courses Identify Courses for Review Step 2 Evaluate Review Instrument Distribute Review Instrument Identify Courses for Review Develop Review Instrument Identify External Reviewers Update Review Instrument Create Review Register Evaluate Review Instrument Step 4
    10. 10. External Review Instrument Sample 28 criteria in 4 areas: Course Design, Activities, Assessment, Technology C Technology: The technology used in teaching and learning is appropriate, up to date and readily accessible to students and staff. The type of technology used is guided by the pedagogical approach of the provider . Criterion Elements 0 1 2 3 25 Wherever possible, a range of technologies like forums, chats, wikis and blogs etc are used to support learning and these technologies are appropriate for the pedagogical approach chosen 26 There are suitable multimedia objects (like illustrations, video clips, PowerPoint slides, animations and simulations) to facilitate understanding of the content 27 There is seamless integration of the different multimedia elements in the course. 28 Internal and external hyperlinks are provided and they are always active Review instrument informed by: – – – – Quality Matters (QM) Rubric Standards https://www.qualitymatters.org/rubric Essential Quality standards (EQS) http://www.ecampusalberta.ca OCEP http://www.montereyinstitute.org/ocep/ OPEN ECB Check http://ecbcheck.efquel.org/ Comments
    11. 11. Step 4: External Review Step 3 Understand Feedback Send Course Access Details Interpret Feedback Authenticate and Batch Courses Allocate Courses to Reviewers Mediate Feedback Conduct 136 Course Reviews Step 5
    12. 12. Step 5: Course Revision Step 4 Update Courses Support Changes Check Progress on Site Visits Step 6
    13. 13. Step 6: Review Validation Step 5 Review Usefulness Survey Select Sample for 2nd Review Review Usefulness Survey Review Updated Courses Send 2nd Review Feedback Short Reviewer Reports Consolidate Findings Refined Review Instrument Recommendations Report
    14. 14. Successes Experienced Course Developers (30 responses) Reviewers (8 responses) • 94% thought the categories used in the review made sense • 83% thought that external review process helped to improve the quality of their online courses • Some comments that the reviews validated their approach taken • • • • • • Basic elements are present – a good start for 1st time developers Design with the affordances of the medium in mind Online teaching approach emphasised Good use of visual aids Online activities provided for Course front matter clearly indicated
    15. 15. Challenges Experienced Course Developers (30 responses) Reviewers (8 responses) • 39% did NOT see the review criteria PRIOR to submitting their courses for external review • 33% did not have the criteria sufficiently explained by the internal support team • Some reports of the review feedback not being passed on to the developers • Insufficient time to address the feedback • • • • • • Some plagiarism & broken links Lack of uniformity Learners need help with finding their way Insufficient student engagement provided for (including lack of evaluation) Insufficient reflective pauses & time indicators Finish as strongly as you began
    16. 16. Outcomes Institutional • Share set of recommendations for formative and summative quality improvement • Support enhancement of institutional quality assurance systems where we were able to engage with the QA Unit Project • Proportion of courses or parts thereof to be made available as Open Educational Resources (OER) to be shared with other institutions • Evaluation instrument used in the review available from Saide website as OER for any course developers to use or adapt
    17. 17. Reflection • How do you ensure quality in your own courses and materials? • How can you develop or enhance quality assurance processes at your institution?
    18. 18. Thank You Greig Krull and Brenda Mallinson greigk@saide.org.za / brendam@saide.org.za This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

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