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Distance Education in Canada: Access and Quality

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Presentation to the ANUIES conference, Monterrey, Mexico, April 2005

Presentation to the ANUIES conference, Monterrey, Mexico, April 2005

Published in: Education

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  • Transcript

    • 1. Distance Education in Canada: Access and Quality
      • Mark Bullen
      • University of British Columbia
    • 2. Distance Education in Canada
    • 3. Outline
      • Access, quality and appropriateness in the Canadian context
      • The Canadian education system
      • Distance education in Canada
      • Distance education technologies
      • Quality assurance
      • The University of British Columbia
      • Distance education at UBC
    • 4. The Canadian Education System
      • Influenced by geography, size
      • Canada: a federation
      • Education a provincial responsibility
      • 10 education systems
      • Some federal funding
    • 5. Higher Education in Canada
      • Colleges
        • Career programs, university preparation
      • Institutes
        • Technical, vocational
      • Universities
        • Research, graduate, undergraduate
    • 6. Universities
      • Mainly public institutions
      • Few private universities
      • 92 public universities
      • Vary in size: 3,000 - 40,000 students
    • 7. Distance Education in Canada
      • Factors
        • Geography
        • Access
        • Lifelong learning
        • Social mandate
    • 8. Distance Education in Canada
      • History
        • Queens University, 1889
        • Athabasca University, 1972
        • T élé-Université, 1972
        • Open Learning Institute, 1978
    • 9. Distance Education in Canada
      • Three “single mode” distance teaching universities
        • Athabasca University (Alberta)
        • BC Open University (British Columbia)
          • part of Thompson Rivers University - consortium
        • Telé-Université (Québec)
          • part of Université de Québec
    • 10. Distance Education in Canada
      • Consortia
        • Canadian Virtual University
          • Consortium of 11 universities
          • Smaller universities
          • 2200 courses and 280 degrees available by combining courses
    • 11. Distance Education in Canada Provincial consortia
    • 12. Distance Education in Canada
      • Most traditional universities also have distance education programs
      • E-learning as mixed mode growing faster than distance education
      • Growth of mixed mode e-learning causing organizational restructuring
    • 13. Distance Education in Canada
      • Distance education traditionally supported by non-Faculty units
      • Mixed mode e-learning tends to be Faculty-based
      • Supported by practitioners with a different professional profile
    • 14. Distance Education in Canada
      • Quality
        • Course development process
        • Integration of DE in conventional universities
        • Organization - central, professional support
      • Appropriateness,Access
        • Pay attention to audience
    • 15. Distance Education in Canada
      • Quality Assurance
        • Is an external process really needed to ensure the quality of distance education?
        • Why does quality only seem to be an issue for DE?
        • What is quality?
        • Quality of what?
        • Whose quality?
        • How will it be measured?
    • 16. Distance Education in Canada
      • Quality Assurance Issues
        • Objective standards vs. subjective standards
          • Technical issues much easier to standardize
          • Pedagogical issues much more subjective
    • 17. Distance Education in Canada
      • Quality Assurance in Canada
        • Course development processes
        • Academic review
        • Institutional context, credibility
        • No formal quality assurance processes
    • 18. Quality Assurance Guidelines
      • Performance
        • the finished product should operate in an effective way, as determined by the end-user.
      • Features
        • the ‘bells and whistles’ incorporated into the finished product should be appropriate, and not detract from the overall objectives of the project.
      • Reliability
        • the finished product should not be subject to malfunction.
    • 19. Quality Assurance Guidelines
      • Conformance
        • the finished product should comply with industry standards, using standard technologies (though those technologies can be pushed to their utmost) and reflect established education theory.
      • Durability
        • the finished product should be relevant and either timeless (in the case of teaching established principles) or easily updated.
      • Serviceability
        • it should be easy to repair or adjust the finished product as required.
    • 20. Quality Assurance Guidelines
      • Aesthetics
        • the overall ‘feel’ of the finished product should be professional and user-friendly.
      • Perceived Quality
        • the finished product should enhance the reputation of the institution as a quality e-learning provider.
        • (From: Development of a Quality Assurance System for E-Learning Projects , Mark Nichols, 2002)
    • 21. Quality Assurance Guidelines
      • Emphasis on technical issues
      • Complex
      • Difficult or costly to measure
        • Can measureable standards be established?
      • Consumer guidelines vs. external assessment
        • Is it better to equip consumers with guidelines rather than impose costly and cumbersome external assessment?
    • 22. Quality Assurance Guidelines
      • Quality assurance should apply to all education
      • Develop distance education using processes that help to ensure quality
      • Organization has been the key to the quality of DE in Canada:
        • DE integrated into conventional universities
        • Supported by central departments of professionals
    • 23. Distance Education in Canada
      • Distance education technologies in Canada
        • Correspondence (print-based)
        • Online (e-learning)
        • Video conferencing
        • Audio conferencing
        • Television
        • Others: CD, video
    • 24. Distance Education in Canada
      • Technology selection
        • driven primarily by access considerations
        • many learners do not have reliable or cheap Internet access
        • 43% of Canadian households have broadband Internet access
        • 65% have some form of Internet access
    • 25. Distance Education in Canada
      • ACTIONS (Bates, 1995)
        • Access
        • Costs
        • Teaching and learning
        • Interaction
        • Organization
        • Novelty
        • Speed
    • 26. Distance Education in Canada
      • Appropriate use of technology
        • Nursing - delayed use of online
        • Medicine - mobile learning
    • 27. University of British Columbia Oldest and largest university in BC Founded in 1914 Second largest in Canada (after U of Toronto)
    • 28. University of British Columbia 40,000 students (undergraduate and graduate) 4,054 international students (150 from Mexico)
    • 29. University of British Columbia
      • 2,000 full time faculty
      • 8,000 staff
      • Budget: $1 Billion
      • Focus on graduate programs and research
    • 30. University of British Columbia
      • Four campuses
        • 3 - Vancouver; 1 - Okanagan
      • 11 Faculties
        • Arts, Science, Education, Medicine, Applied Science, Forestry, Agricultural Sciences, Law, Pharmacy, Dentistry, Business
    • 31. Distance Education at UBC
      • 6,000 distance education enrollments
      • Steady increase since 1995 (+58%)
      • 110 courses
      • All new course development online since 1998
    • 32. Distance Education at UBC
      • Distance Education & Technology
        • Central support department for distance education
        • Operating since 1949
        • Staff of 22
          • instructional designers, web programmers, graphic designers, learner support
        • Organizational change
    • 33. Distance Education at UBC
      • Distance education courses
        • Mostly undergraduate
        • Graduate and professional area is growing faster
        • New online programs
          • Master of Educational Technology , Rehabilitation Sciences, Master of Fine Arts - Creative Writing
    • 34. The Project Management Approach
    • 35. The Project Management Approach
      • Team-based
      • Centrally supported, coordinated, funded
      • Four phases
      • Quality assurance is built in
        • Use of professional instructional designers, graphic designer, web programmer and multimedia specialists - professional standards
        • Built in academic review by external reviewer at two points in the process - academic standards
    • 36. Summary
      • Access and appropriateness are linked
        • Inaccessible technology is inappropriate
        • Accessible technology not necessarily appropriate
        • Need to understand our audience
      • Quality depends on process
        • Development process
        • Integration in conventional universities
        • Organization - central, professional support
    • 37. Distance Education at UBC Questions ?