For an Online Learning Centre

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2.3 Quality applied to education and training sector

Education and training function encompasses a wide range of activities, including preparing syllabi and contributing to course design and improvement and to curriculum development, maintaining currency in the discipline including the methodology and technology of education and training. It also involves preparing teaching and course materials for on-line and off-line students, examinations, problem sets, cases and other assignments, grading examinations, papers, and other student assignments, class teaching, supervising students' practical experience in laboratories, clinics, schools and industry, supervising projects, advising students, assessing2 students' work. Today, education and training activities take places with trainers and trainees sited in different locations with the utilization of multiple tools and media. New tasks arise and it becomes necessary a design of instruction that is different from the traditional classroom-based learning environment. Education has best experienced within a community of learning where competent professionals are actively and cooperatively involved with creating, providing, and improving the instructional program. Learning became dynamic and interactive, regardless of the setting in which it occurs. Learners face to different problems, such as access to practical information, exploration of educational resources to support individual learning, interaction with the mentor and/or the tutor, collaboration with other learners, self-evaluation, certification or the accreditation of the course of study, long life learning experience.

In this context, quality arises as the driver to accredit and certify learning providers and activities.

However, it should be clear that the search for quality does not challenge the wisdom, creativity and experience of the profession. Instead, it puts the basis for continuous improvement of the critical processes that support managerial decision making and professional achievement.

As matter of facts early findings show that it is essential:

  • achieving consistency of standards and quality across all subject and programme areas in a way that is less dependent on the motivation of achieving good outcomes from external assessments by national bodies;

  • reviewing and refining the institution’s approach to quality review;

  • integrating quality review with the business planning cycle to achieve a balance of stakeholder input from other sources such as key performance indicators and the student and staff experience survey results;

  • sharing good practice across faculties and departments;

  • benchmarking in terms of teaching method and content;

  • improving the management of support processes;

  • resolving the tensions between centralism and devolution;

  • promoting empowerment;

  • dealing with leadership behaviours and instilling a climate of trust and co-operation across the institution.

3. The methodological approach proposed

By setting up and/or running an e-learning centre, a body has decided to come in a difficult market where social and economic elements relate to each other as the faces of the same medal. Many stakeholders need to be satisfied and some of them could succumb to others if they have not sufficient voice and/or there is not the right attention to their instances. For this reason, it is useful to adopt a stakeholder management approach to consider all the products and sub products of the e-learning centres.

To start discussing this approach, let remind that whenever one want to launch a new venture there is room for a change management project. Therefore, it is necessary to analyze and understand forces driving transformations.

By doing a scenario analysis, one can highlight the new role of education and of teaching institutions both as learning facilitators and as job market referrals, understands technological innovation, market, product and services changes, demand (needs and wants) and offer modifications, evolution of job skills, aptitudes and requirements. Following these findings, one can make a business analysis and choose the market and own role to compete. However, one should also take care of potential instances highlighted in the stakeholder analysis since the voice of various constituencies can lead or stop the changeover. This process conducts to swot analysis, where an organization can discover its own strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Therefore, it should accomplish with a strategic analysis in order to define its mission and formulate strategy, planning and policies. This conduct to a risk analysis to understand what kind of risks (business, pure, speculative, operational, etc.) it could keep up. We think also that it is a good practice to make a value analysis to define tangible and intangible asset at disposal. At the end, it can be arranged an organization analysis, to examine culture, structure and processes of organization in place. In this way, it can be done an improvement analysis to discover all areas where optimize stakeholder instances, by weighting their expectations and rights.

Methodology descript above follows the principles set up by ISO 9000 2000 since it takes in account the role of all constituencies, suggest a systematic approach to the organization, promote the adoption of a process approach when developing, implementing and improving 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]

For an Online Learning Centre iconMoving from the periphery to the centre: Promoting conversation and developing communities of practice in online environments’

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For an Online Learning Centre iconScoping Study to Investigate Online Learning Environments to Facilitate Evidence Sharing by Literacy and Numeracy Practitioners

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For an Online Learning Centre iconResearch Officer, Centre for Risk and Community Safety rmit university and Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre

For an Online Learning Centre iconDesign of powerful learning environments to promote intentional learning: multiple perspectives

For an Online Learning Centre iconGeneralized Pursuit Learning Schemes : New Families of Continuous and Discretized Learning Automata1

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