For an Online Learning Centre

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НазваниеFor an Online Learning Centre
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Executive summary

This guide is intended to help trainers and trainees to understand the importance of a stakeholder management approach, based on a process driven organization of the work.

In order to discuss quality of e-learning centres1 and related activities, it focuses on:

  • requirements of different stakeholders,

  • value of tangible and intangible assets,

  • e-learning processes,

  • organization processes,

  • pedagogical and technological standards,

  • paradigms and best practices in quality management and quality assurance,

  • the settting-up of a quality management system,

  • quality as applied to e-learning centres.

In brief, the Guide strengthens the role of all constituencies in e-learning and suggests a clarification of the concepts and intent of the process approach to quality management systems.

Therefore, the discussion is not limited to the requirements of a specific standard (such as, for example, those of the ISO 9001:2000 series). A unique direction for conformity assessment purpose in a specific country is not provided.

However, some requirements to those contained in ISO: 9001:2000 are added. As a matter of fact, the new standards promote the adoption of a process approach when developing, implementing and improving a quality management system.

The Guide recommends the implementation of an e-learning plan, that should include the following:

  • Vision and Mission Statement,

  • Key Recommendations for Implementation,

  • KLA eLearning Plans - Curriculum focus,

  • Hardware, software, network procedures,

  • Technical support,

  • Professional development.

It also explains how the approach could be structured and made feasible.

1. Introduction

Political, economic and technological trends push to extend access to information to greater numbers of people. The new concept of ‘borderless education’ is arising, denoting forms of education that cut across traditional boundaries. Such boundaries include sector distinctions, levels of education, geographic borders, public and private education, time and space of delivery of learning activities. As these traditional boundaries are traversed, new providers and forms of provision are emerging. Outside the traditional terrain of education institutions, providers include, among others, corporate universities, for-profit education businesses, media and publishing companies, Information and Communication organizations.

All of these players have a contribution to make in the new field of business named e-learning.

Some of them see e-learning as a source of revenue, a market opportunity and/or a new medium for the delivery of traditional products and services.

Since the presence of these new actors, education institutions are changing approaches to the design and delivery of education. They build partnerships with corporations, develop regional and international consortia, join multi-agency partnerships in order to retain their own students and attract others. By this time, it is clear that at the base of the education and training system there will be new organizations and a new way to offer education and training. They will engage in the teaching and learning activities by dealing directly with all stakeholders (constituencies) at any time and in every place. Among stakeholders, students/learners are not the only subjects to serve. There are others among staff, such as content authors, educators and trainers, mentors and tutors, art directors, web editors, site administrators and so on. Moreover, there are legislators and/or regulators, accrediting bodies, employers, job agencies, centres of research, funding agencies, telecom operators, publishers, competitors, social community.

In this scenario, it is necessary to analyze the nature and quality of different offers. As matter of facts, to increase stakeholders' confidence, providers need a quality approach, adhering to quality standards and developing a quality management system.

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For an Online Learning Centre iconCentre for Equity in Education (cee) web site. University of Manchester. 2007 [online]

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