Bob Ridge-Stearn: My dream: Quality Assurance for Online Courses.
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12 January 2013
My situation (context).
I manage an e-learning department in a UK university. We offer blended lerning and fully online courses. Courses are designed by academics who are expert in their fields but not necessarily experts at designing (or teaching on) online courses.
I do not want to design a course on this MOOC but by participating I want to synthesis my ideas about Quality Assurance.
Over the last few months I have been reading many QA checklists that are avaialbel online and thinking about how they might be applied. I curate a ScoopIt site on the subject http://www.scoop.it/t/quality-assurance-in-online-courses/ and through that found David Jones blog in which he argues against trying to police courses (http://davidtjones.wordpress.com/2012/09/29/compliance-cultures-and-transforming-the-quality-of-e-learning/). This set me back a little as I was leaning towards having a Quality Checklist against which all our tutors could check their courses.
I have just completed Oxford Brookes online course in course design which focussed on Learning Design (activity design) and met there a number of design benchmarks/matrices/checklists that can be used to help design something from the beginning. In my job too we have used Leicester's CArpe Diem model to design activities.
So there are guides to use to design and to check designs. I've got one on my desk at work that's 70 pages long and another that's a single sheet of paper.
What I find is that academically-focussed advice concentrates on learning theory but largely ignores usability/accessibility issues while technically-focussed advice ignores pedagogy.
So I'm here to see how this is dealt with in this course and to ponder over the design of this course itself. I'm not going to design a course but I may end up with a useable checklist for my tutors.
The change I would like to see (challenge)
I would like to have a strategy to work with academic tutors running online courses at my university that will improve and enrich their courses. This may or not be a Quality Checklist.
How you might go about bringing that change
This I do not know yet. I have been pondering it for some time.