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  1. 1. ICDE-EADTU “Regional SWOT on quality in online, open and flexible education for Europe”. EADTU Webinar week 12 November 2019 George Ubachs EADTU
  2. 2. 3 action lines • Survey on accreditation of QA in blended and online education • EADTU-ENQA Peer Learning Activity on QA in blended and online education • CPL country reports on uptake of new modes of teaching incl. QA structures 2
  3. 3. Survey on accreditation of online education • Survey on practices of quality assurance and accreditation in 15 European countries. • It dealt with national frameworks and regulations, institutional developments in universities, current practices of external quality assurance for online and distance education, aspects of internal quality assurance for blended, online and distance education, and finally practices of accreditation of online and distance education. • 18 universities responded from Austria, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, the Netherlands, Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Israel, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom. • Results presented in the European Parliament CULT Committee 3
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  5. 5. Legal frameworks (CPL) Legal frameworks are largely permissive of the introduction of digital education in all the eight case study countries, and state that different forms of education (traditional face-to-face, blended and distance) are all valid. 5
  6. 6. No revisions of accreditation processes There is very limited evidence that suggests there have been substantial revisions to university accreditation processes. It is likely that many universities had to think carefully about how they ensured that the quality of their provision would remain at a high level whilst introducing technology, and clearly uncertainty about how to do this still exists for some, perhaps to a degree, all (Ingolfsdottir, 2014; Mapstone et al, 2014). 6
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  8. 8. Main challenges for quality blended and online education 1 Governmental and European strategies and frameworks for innovation 2 Institutional strategy and cultural changes / mind-set 3 Pedagogical models and design for blended courses 4 New expertise needed and staff support 5 Student support 6 Including blended education in the quality framework of the university 7 Funding of innovation 8 Increased workload 9 Institutional evaluation, research and innovation 8
  9. 9. 9 POSITIVE NEGATIVE STRENGTHS WEAKNESSES INTERNAL At the university level: • The strong presence of learning environments/digital technology at European universities; • Good practices in blended teaching and learning, although in many universities dispersed; incremental implementation; • The MOOC movement has resulted in broader awareness and acceptance of the added value of blended and online education • Strong digital skills of students and teachers • A strong leadership in frontrunner universities, developing blended mainstream education, online continuous education/CPD and open education/MOOCs • There is an objective strong need for enhancing the quality of education for large student numbers in mainstream education at a reasonable cost (Daniel’s iron triangle). Blended and online can extend the classroom as well as create smaller learning communities At Quality Assurance agency level: • The national quality assurance agencies in the ENQA network represent a wide range of expertise in quality assurance (institutional, program level) • As blended and online education are gradually developed in most European universities, institutional quality assurance services will be involved in evaluation reviews in these areas • The widely referred Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance can be a perfect framework for adopting fit criteria and indicators for quality assurance in blended and online education • Within this framework, national Quality Assurance Agencies adopt quality assurance guidelines and inform institutions about criteria, indicators, guidelines on blended and online education. Insitutional systems further support the quality of online and blended education. • ENQA provides the opportunity to exchange expertise in blended and online education • Several QA agencies are already active in ENQA’s WG E-Learning • Some national agencies have elaborated systematically criteria and indicators for quality assurance in blended and online education (UK, Cyprus, Portugal,..) At the university level: • In many universities, the leadership still doesn’t develop innovative policies, strategic plans, frameworks for innovation in teaching and learning • Blended and online teaching and learning is developed incrementallly, not systematically Often the use of ICT-based modes of teaching and learning and innovation is only based on the commitment of individuals • Some institutions are engaged, but developments are going slow and efforts are dispersed and not systemic enough. • Inertia in academia to innovate. Academic culture not in favour of innovation. Attitudes of students and staff towards online learning • Misconceptions on blended/online teaching • Low awareness of innovative pedagogies; • Institutional expertise on the design of blended and online teaching and learning not well developed • Blended and online learning competencies of staff not enough developed • Institutional educational support frameworks not well developed • Institutional quality framework didn’t enough adopt criteria and indicators for blended and online education and innovation • No adequate solutions for the changing roles and related workload of staff • No clear incentives for career development; At Quality Assurance agency level: • Criteria, indicators and guidelines for blended and online education are not yet enough developed and implemented in quality assurance systems and reviews • Difficult finding experts for reviewing blended and online courses and programs • In some agencies, more attention for outcomes, less for processes
  10. 10. 10 STRENGTHS THREATS • The E-xcellence Manual and benchmarking instruments are widely used in insitutional qa and by enqa members (open license) • ENQA can facilitate the sharing of good practice between its members to improve quality criteria, indicators and guidelines; This will also continuously improve quality assurance practices at the university level. From this perspective of continuous improvement, it would be necessary to stay up-to-date with the current discussion in the field and to establish ways of permanent exchange of experience and expertise, e.g. workshops with institutions, ENQA members, expert organisations and stakeholders. • The EADTU-ENQA Peer Learning Activity on QA in blended and online education (Sept. 2017) has led to a structured dialogue of stakeholders • Educational technology becomes strong, more fit to blended and online course design and to independent learning • Educational theories and design science becomes stronger • CPD is organised for leadership and staff (EMPOWER, EOLLA) • The MOOC movement is inspiring many. The MOOC platforms contribute to innovative strategies and practices (EMC consortium, edX, etc) • It is expected that there will be more requests on accreditation of online study programmes in the near future • EU policies in favour of the modernisation of higher education • Some countries develop strategies for innovation and blended and online education • Innovative pedagogies and examples of good practice are published (E-xcellence, EMBED maturity model for blended education, Innovative Pedagogies UKOU, Envisioning report of EADTU/EMPOWER) • The funding per student for higher education is decreasing in many EU universities • Weak governmental strategies in many EU countries OPPORTUNITIES
  11. 11. 11 Bringing together in dialogue QA agencies, universities and governmental bodies
  12. 12. Partners in dialogue Higher Education Institutions 1. AGH 2. Anadolu University 3. DCU 4. EduOpen 5. FIED 6. Hellenic Open University 7. KU Leuven 8. MCSU 9. Open University Cyprus 10. Open University of the Netherlands 11. OUUK 12. TAMK 13. TU Delft 14. UNED 15. UniDistance Switzerland 16. UNINETTUNO 17. University of Jyväskylä 18. UOC Governments • European Commission (EACEA) • Flemish Ministry of Education Quality Assurance Agencies 1. Finnish Education Evaluation Centre FINEEC 2. Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) 3. Cyprus Agency of Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Higher Education (CY.Q.A.A.) 4. AQ Austria 5. Evalag, Evaluation Agency Baden-Wuerttemberg 6. AQU Catalunya 7. AAQ Switzerland 8. ASHE 9. ACSUCYL 10. UKÄ 11. NVAO 12. Fundación para el Conocimiento Madrid (FCM) Umbrella organisations • ESU • ENQA • EUA • EADTU 12
  13. 13. Why this PLA? Changing world of education In European and Western universities, three areas of provision emerge consistently: • degree education • continuing education • open education (MOOCs, OERs) 13
  14. 14. Aim of this PLA • The PLA will identify next steps in the development of quality blended degree and online continuing education in a dialogue between main stakeholders: universities, governments, quality assurance agencies and students. • Identifying each others perspectives, roles, challenges, needs, experiences and expertise 14
  15. 15. Ways forward Institutional: • Empower teaching staff by continuous professional development on blended learning and innovation, using a maturity model. Teaching and learning departments organize CPD for teaching staff • Develop multimedia labs • Teaching and learning departments learning support staff in course design teams and identify patterns of good practice in their institution and in the partnership • Create peer groups and subject area networks • Teaching and learning departments are organizing institutional evaluation and research on the design, implementation and effects of blended teaching and learning • Student support is integrated in the design of the course 15
  16. 16. QA agencies Making quality assessment supportive for blended and online programmes • Create an open mind to new ideas / new methods / new pedagogies • Developing criteria for assessing innovation (level of innovation) by adopting a maturity model for blended education • Start from learning outcomes and assess if the teaching mode (any, incl. blended) is appropriate to achieve that outcome • Evaluate teacher competences for blended and online teaching and learning • Providing guidance (standards & guidelines) to institutions which want to set up blended or online courses • Sharing good practices (agencies supporting agencies) • Inviting experts on the QA review panel with experience in blended and online / distance learning • Provide a (international) database of experts and eventually look for reviewers / evaluators abroad 16 Ways forward
  17. 17. Ways forward National governments • Capture the state of affairs, current needs and opportunities on blended degree education (on campus), making a survey of the institutions and make a picture of the landscape, Involving an expert group • Explore&promote a maturity model for blended teaching and learning • Organise a strategic working group (advisory) and develop a strategy at national level involving all stakeholders (university, students, social partners) and experts • Activate continuous innovation – Stimulate or organise continuous professional development of staff – Stimulate institutional leadership for continuous innovation – Fund Research & Innovation projects (R & I) 17
  18. 18. 18 European Commission • Develop a strategy on digital higher education • Support international cooperation, collaboration, share and exchange expertise European-wide • Develop country reports • Share and exchange good practices and propose recommendations on how to use technology for digital learning and digital assessment • Support teacher education, sharing of teacher training programmes
  19. 19. The dialogue A dialogue on innovation and quality assurance between institutions, quality assurance agencies and governments should be organized in order to support these developments and to promote appropriate quality assurance policies • Institutions: developing and implementing policies and strategies for digital education in blended degree and extended continuing education provisions, an internal quality framework with a maturity model for online/blended learning and for continuing and open education • Quality assurance agencies: adapting and fine-tuning criteria/indicators and presenting guidelines for innovation and digital modes of teaching and learning, and sharing good practices of internal and external quality assurance • Governments: developing drivers for innovation and quality and reviewing regulatory frameworks and practices for quality assurance and accreditation in higher education encouraging and accelerating innovation. A vision for change should be expressed through national strategies. This dialogue should lead to concerted actions towards innovation and quality 19
  20. 20. 12 Fields of Expertise…
  21. 21. THANK YOU George Ubachs

Editor's Notes

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  • In search for expertise we can refer to E-Xcellence and EMPOWER
    E-xcellence is an instrument for enhancing the e-learning performance of a university and a guideline for universities in transition to online and blended education. It focusses on improvement of accessibility, flexibility,..
    Developed and updated over the past decade by partners EUA, NVAO, ENQA… by team of expert reviewers.
    Standards->benchmarks. Benefit of benchmarks:
    Why benchmarking? The system of benchmarking includes:
    Self-assessment/self-critical as a bases for self-improvement
    Using peer reviewers as reference and input for improvement
    *In a collaborative process of dialogue we create an environment of learning from each other
    *In a process of comparing the university’s’ performance with best practices in the field of e-learning we identify weaknesses and strengths
    Setting a roadmap for improvement
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