ERIC Number: ED468368
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002
Accreditation and Assuring Quality in Distance Learning. CHEA Monograph Series, 2002.
Council for Higher Education Accreditation, Washington, DC.
This report describes the scope and impact of distance learning on higher education and identifies the primary challenges that distance learning poses for accreditation. The responses of the accrediting community designed to assure quality in distance learning are outlined. Data from a variety of sources show that 5,655 institutions are accredited by the 17 regional and national accreditors. Of these institutions, 1,979 offer a form of distance-delivered learning programs or courses, some of which lead to degree acquisition. Standards, guidelines, and policies to determine academic quality are in place for the scrutiny of distance learning. The 17 institutional accreditors actively apply these standards or guidelines in their reviews. Assuring quality in distance learning presents three major challenges to accreditation, those of: alternative design of instruction, alternative providers of education, and the expanded focus on training. Accrediting organizations examines alternative instructional designs with a particular focus on curriculum and instruction, faculty support, student support, and student learning outcomes. Accrediting institutions scrutinize new providers of higher distance education in a manner that parallels the scrutiny of site-based institutions and programs. Accreditors may use the platform of the eight regional accrediting organizations and the standards of the nine national accrediting organizations to focus on the expanding universe of discrete training activities offered apart from longer-term, structured offering such as degree programs. (SLD)
Descriptors: Academic Standards, Accreditation (Institutions), Accrediting Agencies, Distance Education, Educational Quality, Educational Technology, Higher Education, Technological Advancement
For full text: http://www.chea.org/Research/Accred-Distance-5-9-02.pdf?pubID=246.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Council for Higher Education Accreditation, Washington, DC.