This manual is the main product of a suite of EU funded projects undertaken under the auspices of EADTU: E-xcellence (2005- 2006), E-xcellence plus (2008-2009) and E-xcellence Next (2011- 2012). The overall aim of these projects has been to develop a methodology and supporting resources for the quality assurance of e-learning in higher education. The E-xcellence projects involve a core pool of experts from six European Universities with a stake in e-learning developments, and an extended group drawn from a total of 50 institutions during the course of the projects.
E-learning, open and distance education have been important fields of intellectual excitement and innovative development. Challenges posed by the new technologies are permanent, and students constantly keep teachers under pressure to develop. Learning is becoming more and more individualized and self-managed. Individual and collective motivation, enhancement of the learning experience, and an overall improvement of learning quality are gaining ever-increasing traction. How can we do our best to make learning a thrilling experience for learners, including providing a sense of joy in the virtual classroom?
The EDEN 2013 Conference will discover and present the latest best practice in this field, share progressive concepts, inventive solutions, and promote joint-thinking and collaboration.
Discussion and debate will provide a range of innovative theories and approaches about the smart use of ICT tools, new methodologies for enhanced learning experience, content management systems, or fascinating solutions supported by game based learning, immersive environments, multimedia, etc.
Online and Social:
The 2013 Annual Conference will be supported and accompanied intensively by social networking, sharing, online and virtual presence and involvement possibilities.
This will be strengthened by and implemented through the EDEN members" portal: the NAP Members Area on the web and its services.
Call for Contributions:
We invite for the conference proposals for paper presentations in parallel sessions, posters, workshops, and short demonstrations that relate to the conference themes.
Submissions will be double peer reviewed by the Conference Committee. Accepted contributions will be published in the electronic Conference Proceedings with ISBN and their summary in the printed Book of Abstracts.
Schedule and Deadlines:
Submission of Proposals – 5 February 2013
Registration Opens – mid-February 2013
Notification of Authors – 22 March 2013
The purpose of the Norwegian Centre for ICT in Education is to contribute to the realization and the development of ICT policy. It shall further cooperate with relevant public and private institutions. The centre will also participate in international cooperation. Our main goals are to improve the quality of education and to improve learning outcomes and learning for children, pupils and students thourgh use of ICT in education.
The Seventh EDEN Research Workshop
Learners in the Driving Seat
Users? – Partners? – Consumers? – Peers?
Where are we heading to?
A workshop about effective learning experience for researchers and practitioners
Deadline: 25 September 2012
How students are driving teachers, instructors in the fields where new learning technologies play important role? The special facet of the conference will be the active participation of groups of Leuven university students. They will present their cases, share the experience and practice they came across and co-operate in validating research views.
Around the world, school teachers and administrators, scholars and researchers, government officials, and the general public are seeking to improve the quality of education. In recent years, two of the most prominent themes have been: (1) using performance measures to hold school systems, administrators, and teachers accountable for results, and (2) conducting different kinds of evaluations to identify and test promising approaches and programs able to improve student outcomes.
Much can be learned from the efforts already done, and the conference aims to providing the grounds for scholarly dialogue and debate on the methodologies used and the results obtained. The event seeks to bringing together a worldwide audience, including academics and professionals from universities, think tanks, school systems, government agencies, and the private sector, and to offer them the opportunity for networking and discussing how different lessons could be applicable in many countries.
“Quality Issues and Insights in the 21st Century” ISSN 2029-9575
Papers submitted to QIIC_1CFP_2012 should be original work and substantively different from papers that have been previously published or are under review in a journal or another peer-reviewed conference. We invite submission of papers describing innovative research on all aspects of quality and related areas.
Application form: 25 October 2012
Full paper: 25 November 2012
The article reflects the role of stakeholders and experts as well as their composition in review teams, based on the example of epprobate, the international quality label for eLearning courseware.
Some aspects of what we mean by eLearning quality can be captured in a reasonably objective manner (e.g. are learning objectives stated) but most of what we mean by quality (e.g. student engagement) can only be captured through more subjective measures. However, once we start to use subjective measures then the results begin to depend on who is doing the measuring, and, crucially, the results vary depending on the positioning of the reviewers with respect to the courseware.
So an eLearning producer may have one view (and within the company, the coders may have different views from the graphic designers), but the learners and teachers who will use the courseware, the employers who will employ those who have used the course, maybe the company that has commissioned the courseware for its employees, national government agencies and other social agencies may all have different perspectives on what is important in judging the quality of the courseware.
None of these perspectives have a monopoly on truth, and so the new international quality initiative ‘epprobate’ is using an approach that calls on views from a range of perspectives and stakeholders in order to develop its quality reviews.
Mere popularity is no guarantee of quality – one only has to look at the most popular TV programs, newspapers and YouTube videos to be convinced that popularity is not necessarily the same as quality!
On the other hand the traditional approach to quality assurance also has its problems. In education, the traditional approach has been for a small team of educational experts to come to a consensus view as to whether a journal article, a course, a programme of courses or an educational organization meets an established set of criteria. Such experts typically have knowledge of education and the quality evaluation processes and call on content experts if this is appropriate.
Such quality assurance systems have been criticised for being overly controlling, dominated by one particular perspective, and stifling initiative. So these approaches to quality assurance are giving way to quality enhancement approaches, and at the same time much more emphasis has begun to be put on student involvement in the quality process.
However these general quality schemes even in their most recent formulations are not ideally suited to the demands of an educational system subject to rapid change and growth and in particular those demands that arise from the use of eLearning. Many quality schemes for eLearning have been developed but most are somewhat tied to the limiting aspects of traditional quality approaches.
The solution that epprobate is proposing is to carry out reviews from a range of perspectives, in terms of a published set of quality criteria (http://epprobate.com/index.php/en/epprobate-quality-grid), and to involve the courseware producer with a learning community based around this review process. The production by the eLearning courseware producer of a self assessment is a vital part in encouraging the development of eLearning quality through self evaluation. A typical review panel would consist of representatives of the target group for the course, a pedagogical and quality expert, another eLearning courseware producer, a content expert and the eLearning courseware producer. This panel would produce a report examining the courseware in terms of the published criteria, and would award the epprobate label where the courseware was found to be of high quality.
Rather than simply a process of providing a label, the core of the epprobate process is the promotion of a community of peers working together to improve eLearning quality. We will achieve our goal of supporting the development of high quality eLearning courseware through a combination of consulting with a range of perspectives and multiple stakeholders, reviewing against a published set of criteria, producing detailed evaluative reports, and involving eLearning producers within our learning community.
System-wide innovations to improve education quality can only take root through broad collaboration across private, public and non-governmental actors, participants affirmed at the World Education Forum in London on 9-10 January.
Addressing the Forum, which gathered some 60 education ministers, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova stressed the importance of “fit to size solutions. Progress is more than a question of money – it is all about matching… matching capacity with needs, matching skills and knowledge to the requirements of markets. ”
During the Forum, she presented the ICT Competency Framework for Teachers, describing it as “an excellent example of how an intergovernmental organizations and private partners can cooperate to deliver concrete results. ” She noted that “public-private partnership is a new form of ‘civilian power’ that will help shape the new spirit of learning in the 21st century.”
Speaking at the opening reception of the Forum, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs William Hague commended the ICT Competency Framework.“Unless we continue to have a global outlook in our education system and constantly refresh our thinking from examples of success around the world, we put that cutting-edge status at risk. (…) UNESCO’s Information and Communication Technology Competency Framework for Teachers demonstrates this forward thinking approach to education.”
The Deputy Secretary-General Commonwealth Secretariat Ransford Smith reiterated that “innovative ideas adapted to vastly diverse circumstances call for sharing and collaboration. ” The ICT Competency Framework, he said, offered a comprehensive and integrated approach, adding that it is expected to have a “long term impact on teachers in Guyana,” where UNESCO has been a partner in the ICT professional development of teachers.
Intel’s Vice President John Davies gave examples of system-wide innovations in Turkey, Argentina and Viet Nam that have led to teacher training in ICTs, improved learning outcomes and increased connectivity through broad partnerships involving governments and private industries.
On the sidelines of the Forum, the Director-General met with a number of partners, including Intel, Microsoft, Pearson, HP, Lego Education, Promethean and GEMS Education to discuss the establishment of a Global Alliance of Corporate Partners for Education. “Unless we show a global mobilization involving private sector, governments and NGOs, we will not be able to seriously put education on the global agenda.”
The Education World Forum is hosted by the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA), with support from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for Education, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and several industry partners.