Supporting curriculum innovation: the role of quality assurance and enhancement

Abstract: Quality assurance and quality enhancement are central to an institution’s core business providing two distinct yet complimentary aspects to quality management. Whilst quality assurance focuses on ensuring that institutional conditions are in place for students to achieve set standards, quality enhancement is about developing reliable and demonstrable improvements in the quality of learning opportunities.

The purpose of this session was to discuss the role of QA and QE in supporting innovation in curriculum design and delivery and explore some of the issues, challenges and examples of good practice. The session started with an overview from Dr Peter Findlay, Assistant Director at the Quality Assurance Agency, about the QAA’s work and how it relates to innovation, particularly in relation to the CDD programmes. Dr Judith Kuit representing the QA-QE Special Interest Group supported by the Higher Education Academy, will discuss the work of the SIG, its role in the current consultation around the QAA Code of Practice on e-learning and other current initiatives.

Learning Objectives

  • Reflect more on QAA and its relationship to Technology Enhanced Learning

Key Ideas

  • Often seen as negative point (burden, justification) but on positive side can be partnership for sharing and encouraging good practice
  • Institutional culture can be a barrier to QA and E
  • Strengthened QA for new learning stragies (elearning) expected to come into play soon
  • Elearning really needs to be integrated into all the sections of QAA code

Action Plans

  • Keep updating myself regularly

Length: 1 hour

2011 Quality Assurance and Quality Enhancement in e-Learning conference

Abstract: Explore challenges facing the sector in relation to assuring quality whilst also enabling quality enhancement and innovation through technology enhanced learning (TEL). We will be exploring the unsolved problems and trying to identify some of the unknown issues. Technologies impact on all aspects of the learning process, including teaching, assessment and communication. In light of changes in technologies and the changing role of e-learning within higher education, guidance and policies associated with quality assurance and quality enhancement of technology enhanced learning (TEL) need to be considered and reviewed.

The day will include; a keynote address from Ingeborg Bø, a member of the Board of Directors of European Foundation for Quality in E-learning (EFQUEL); presentations from project teams who have been evaluating the QAQE toolkit (‘A Toolkit for Harnessing Quality Assurance Processes for Technology Enhanced Learning’), and a presentation from members of the University of Hertfordshire who will guide delegates through the development of their law course from face-to-face to distance learning. The day will conclude with a panel debate on future agendas.

Learning Objectives

  • Examine resources available to support the QA&E process for Technology Enhanced Learning

Key Ideas

  • Toolkit for Harnessing Quality Assurance Processes for Technology Enhanced Learning provides a framework and a set of tools
  • Designed to address the broad continuum of patterns of modes of study in TEL courses from blended courses to fully online distance courses
  • Toolkit is useful to access in bite sized chunks as and when aspects are required. Needs a lot more examples and to be truly effective – senior management support at College and Institutional level

Action Plans

  • Use and adapt aspects of the toolkit at local level

Quality Assurance Equals Student Success (DLA 2011)

Presenter: Deb Gearhart, Troy University
Abstract: Troy University eCampus implemented a Quality Assurance process in 2008, based on the Quality Matters Rubric. Since that time over 450 courses and course sections have been reviewed through the process. This paper will discuss the best practices, lessons learned and value of quality assurance, particularly as a retention tool for students and a means for student success.

Learning Objectives: 

  • Examine Distance Learning quality assurance issues in relation to University and College wide implementation

Key ideas

  • Distance learning since 1998  and eCampus since 2005
  • Development of a Quality Matters (QM) rubric
  • Faculty-driven, peer review process – diagnostic and collegial, not evaluative and judgemental
  • 85% level to pass
  • About course and course quality
  • Anonymous review process which takes 2-3 weeks (450 courses or modules have been reviewed between 2008-2010)
  • Embedded into practice at all levels because the institution is behind the initiative
  • Rubric standards include:
  1. Course Overview and Introduction
  2.  Learning Objectives (outcomes)
  3. Assessment and Measurement
  4. Resources and Materials
  5. Learner Interaction
  6. Course technology
  7. Learner Support
  8. Accessibility

Action Plan

  • Consider evaluating some of the College against the rubric
  • Share with Curriculum Unit