Quality in Distance Education


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Quality in Distance Education

  1. 1. Quality in distance education: a macro-analysis of recent trends and issues Terumi Miyazoe Pusan, Korea, 2007/09/07
  2. 2. Outline <ul><li>Foci: </li></ul><ul><li>What is quality in distance education? </li></ul><ul><li>Recent trends and research findings </li></ul><ul><li>Problems and issues for future research and practice </li></ul>Pusan, Korea, 2007/09/07
  3. 3. Limitation/Delimitation <ul><li>The information and data come largely from English sources. </li></ul><ul><li>The scope of the presentation is specifically distance education. </li></ul>Pusan, Korea, 2007/09/07
  4. 4. State of the issue <ul><li>Quality issues in distance education </li></ul><ul><li>Relatively new </li></ul><ul><li>No fixed definition, approach, or framework yet </li></ul>Pusan, Korea, 2007/09/07
  5. 5. Key works <ul><li>Two major works regarding quality in distance education </li></ul><ul><li>Mayer, K. A. (2002). Quality in distance education. ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report, 29 (4), 1-121. </li></ul><ul><li>Sherry, A. C. (2003). Quality and its measurement in distance education. In M. G. Moore & W. G. Anderson (Eds.), Handbook of distance education (pp. 435-459). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., Publishers. </li></ul>Pusan, Korea, 2007/09/07
  6. 6. What is quality? <ul><li>“ the standard of something when it is compared to other things like it; how good or bad something is </li></ul><ul><li>a high standard </li></ul><ul><li>a thing that is part of a person’s character, especially something good </li></ul><ul><li>a feature of something, especially one that makes it different from something else” </li></ul><ul><li>(Oxford Advanced Learners’ Dictionary, 2005) </li></ul>Pusan, Korea, 2007/09/07
  7. 7. What is quality? (cont ’ d) <ul><li>The concept of quality includes </li></ul><ul><li>standard, </li></ul><ul><li>comparison, </li></ul><ul><li>goodness (or betterness), and </li></ul><ul><li>uniqueness. </li></ul>Pusan, Korea, 2007/09/07
  8. 8. What is evaluation? <ul><li>Three common categories: </li></ul><ul><li>Relative vs. absolute evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>(Stake, 1967) </li></ul><ul><li>Formative vs. summative evaluation (Scriven, 1967) </li></ul><ul><li>Descriptive vs. judgmental evaluation (Cronbach, 1963; Scriven, 1967) </li></ul>Pusan, Korea, 2007/09/07
  9. 9. A framework <ul><li>Conceptualization of quality issues in distance education   </li></ul>Pusan, Korea, 2007/09/07
  10. 10. A framework (cont ’ d) Pusan, Korea, 2007/09/07 Levels Research schemes Research questions Macro- ↓ Micro- Quality assurance Credit banks How can we assure quality of distance education as we have with traditional education?       ↓ How can we realize quality learning in distance education that is different from traditional education?         ↓ How can we assure quality in education regardless of whether it is traditional or online? People’s perceptions Cost and accessibility Learner outcomes
  11. 11. Quality assurance <ul><li>Definition: “planned activities carried out with the intent and purpose of maintaining and improving the quality of learning rather than simply evaluating activities” (Jung 2005b, p.5) </li></ul><ul><li>-> standardization of formative efforts to maintain and improve quality in distance education for present and future practice </li></ul>Pusan, Korea, 2007/09/07
  12. 12. Quality assurance (cont ’ d) <ul><li>Accreditation and quality assurance </li></ul><ul><li>Different levels of standards: institutional, regional, national, international </li></ul><ul><li>Different/unified standard(s): tradtional vs online learning </li></ul><ul><li>-> largely relying on self-improvement, no serious penalty </li></ul>Pusan, Korea, 2007/09/07
  13. 13. Credit banks <ul><li>Definition: “the systematic interpretation of equivalency in educational value across different educational institutes” (Miyazoe, 2007) </li></ul><ul><li>English Teaching certificates at secondary schools (Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education) </li></ul><ul><li>-partly from ICU (campus-mode learning) </li></ul><ul><li>-partly from Nihon University (distance learning) </li></ul>Pusan, Korea, 2007/09/07
  14. 14. Credit banks (cont ’ d) <ul><li>University Certificates, diplomas, degrees: NIAD-UE (National Institute for Academic Degrees and University Evaluation, Japan) </li></ul><ul><li>Risks of relying on the credit system of other country/countries </li></ul><ul><li>National and international needs </li></ul><ul><li>->  “ international credit banks” </li></ul>Pusan, Korea, 2007/09/07
  15. 15. People ’ s perceptions <ul><li>Historically, negative perceptions towards distance education and online learning </li></ul><ul><li>- “Learning at the Back Door” (Wedemeyer, 1981) </li></ul><ul><li>- “Digital Diploma Mills” </li></ul><ul><li>(Nobel, 2001) </li></ul>Pusan, Korea, 2007/09/07
  16. 16. People ’ s perceptions (cont ’ d) <ul><li>New trends towards distance education and online learning </li></ul><ul><li>Sloan-C (Sloan Consortium) 2006 survey: 4,491 higher institutions in the US -> 62% of chief academic officers believe online learning is equal or superio r to face-to-face learning </li></ul><ul><li>More and more degree seeking online programs open including master’s and doctoral levels in North America and Europe </li></ul>Pusan, Korea, 2007/09/07
  17. 17. Cost and accessibility <ul><li>External triangle of education (Daniel, 2003): quality, cost, and accessibility </li></ul><ul><li>Productivity paradox </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunity cost </li></ul>Pusan, Korea, 2007/09/07
  18. 18. Cost and accessibility (cont ’ d) <ul><li>Some counter-arguments </li></ul><ul><li>Very limited number of educational institutes can assure mega size (100,000+) enrollment </li></ul><ul><li>Wider accessibility of anyone anywhere anytime philosophy could conflict with the notion of uniqueness </li></ul>Pusan, Korea, 2007/09/07
  19. 19. Learner outcomes <ul><li>Traditionally, people were skeptical about the effectiveness of distance education and online learning </li></ul><ul><li>Lower academic readiness </li></ul><ul><li>Poor completion rates </li></ul>Pusan, Korea, 2007/09/07
  20. 20. Learner outcomes (cont ’ d) <ul><li>More results that support equal or higher learner outcomes of distance education and online learning than F2F learning </li></ul><ul><li>No significant difference phenomenon (Russell, 1991) </li></ul><ul><li>followed up by Phillips and Merisotis (1991) and Bernard et al. (2004) </li></ul>Pusan, Korea, 2007/09/07
  21. 21. Conclusions <ul><li>“ How can we assure quality in education regardless of whether it is traditional or online?” </li></ul><ul><li>Two axes of quality: betterness and uniqueness </li></ul><ul><li>Need for a framework unique to distance education </li></ul>Pusan, Korea, 2007/09/07
  22. 22. <ul><li>Thank you very much! </li></ul><ul><li>Note: This presentation was later collected in International Journal of Media Education and Technology, 2/15-26, 2008 (http://members3.jcom.home.ne.jp/t.miyazoe/IJETM_2008_Miyazoe_final.pdf) </li></ul>Pusan, Korea, 2007/09/07