Quality evaluation of eLearning through an international peer-review community
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The purpose of the paper is to present the Open ECBCheck, a new certification and quality improvement scheme for eLearning in the field of Capacity Building. The model supports Capacity Building Organisations to measure how successful their eLearning programmes are and allows for continuous improvement though peer collaboration and benchlearning. Open ECBCheck forms a participative quality environment which allows its members to benefit in a variety of ways by having access to tools and guidelines for their own practice on the one hand, and being able to obtain a community based label on the other hand.
The certification scheme has been developed throughout a participatory process with organisations in the field of Capacity Building, who were extensively interviewed regarding their demands towards a new certification scheme. In a second step, existing standards and certificates like UNIQUE, EFMD CEL or ISO/IEC 19796-1 were assessed to see if they meet these demands or if parts of the existing standards and certificates could be incorporated into the scheme. Finally, as presented in this article, a blueprint for a certification has been proposed, including a description of the architecture, the definition of quality criteria and related indicators as well as a definition of a certification process.
The results of extensive analysis suggest that organisations in the field of Capacity Building have in general a high interest to obtain a quality label. Mostly, organisations are interested in a tool which supports measuring and improving impact efficiency, helping to ensure the success of eLearning programs and allowing to benchmark with other organisations.
The analysis we present in this article also shows that organisations differ in the diffusion of eLearning within their Capacity Building activities. To incorporate these differences a label with two options has been developed: one for single programs and another one for institutions.