Locating the student voice in the quality debate


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Quality panel presentation by Trish Andrews for the DEHub/ODLAA Education 2011 to 2021- Global challenges and perspectives of blended and distance learning the (14 to 18 February 2011).

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  • Who are distance students is not always clearQuality processes applied to traditional DE materials don’t necessarily apply to online DESome students can be taqged on as DE students top face-to-face courses resulting in the special needs of DE learners being overlookedA disconnect is apparent between the rationales most often presented to advance the use of ICTs in education (to introduce new teaching and learning practices and to foster 21st century thinking and learning skills) and their actual implementation (predominantly for use in computer literacy and dissemination of learning materials)Notably, the findings from studies such as those by MeKeogh & Fox (2009) & Lonn & Teasly (2009) suggest that the major focus of ICT ignores the opportunities for interaction and engagement it was envisaged that they would provide for distance learners in particular. Along with Margaryn & Littlejohn’s (2009), findings in relation to lack of understanding of the potential of ICT tools, these studies raises serious concerns about the ways in which workplace skills and competences are fostered for distance learners. Developing greater understandings of distance students’ perceptions of this aspect of their learning have the potential to contribute significantly to the quality of their learning experience
  • The extensive experience and research in this field has to date mainly concentrated on the collection of student feedback in campus- based courses… This experience of paper based or online surveys in campus-based courses does not necessarily generalise to the context of eLearning courses, where students are partially or totally at a distance from the campus and staff may have limited contact with them (709).contributing to assuring the quality if the student experience through questionnaires and surveys and representation on staff/student committees at course & departmental levelscontributing to institutional; governance and accountability mechanisms through student representation bodiesinforming the choice of prospective students by expressing their views through the national student surveyparticipating as members of external institutional audit teamsparticipating through national student representative bodies, students are able to express their views to government and higher education policy makers (Little & Williams, 2010, p.116).raise standards and increase attainment’ (p.5) and to focus instead on the student as part of a community and the ways in which their contribution can contribute to that community
  • Locating the student voice in the quality debate

    1. 1. Trish Andrews<br />Quality panelLocating the student voice in the quality debate<br />
    2. 2. Locating the Distance Student’s Voice<br />Blurring of boundaries between modes of learning<br />Adoption of ICTS has meant that many traditional DE institutions have struggled to maintain their distinctive mission <br />Much broader range of institutions other than traditional distance education providers offering DE<br />Streamlining courses to offer one mode of delivery<br />De facto distance education<br />Assumptions about use of technology in relation to distance learners and distance teachers <br />
    3. 3. Quality processes<br /><ul><li>Not necessarily suitable for DE
    4. 4. Feedback that is obtained is not necessarily implemented
    5. 5. Existing student voice strategies can be more about structures
    6. 6. Need for more dialogical processes
    7. 7. Need to recognize the individualness of students as well as their contribution to the wider community. </li>