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ERIC Number: ED503331
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 14
Quality Assurance in Open and Distance Learning. Knowledge Series. A Topical, Start-Up Guide to Distance Education Practice and Delivery
Kirkpatrick, Denise
Commonwealth of Learning
Assuring the quality of education provision is a fundamental aspect of gaining and maintaining credibility for programmes, institutions and national systems of higher education worldwide. Despite a long and generally successful track record, open and distance learning (ODL) is still required to prove that the quality of student learning is at least equivalent to face-to-face teaching. A comprehensive quality assurance (QA) system can help accomplish this. QA is designed to prove and improve the quality of an institution's methods, and educational products and outcomes. In ODL this includes developing and producing learning materials, academic programmes, services and support, as well as standards of student learning. A systematic and consistent QA system helps to establish an institution's good reputation and image. It includes defined standards of achievement, documented procedures for all identified processes, established ways of responding to issues and clear accountability for outcomes. The result is greater public confidence, more satisfied students, efficient processes, and staff who are confident in their jobs. Students are more likely to experience better quality instruction, learning materials and interactions with the institution and its staff, leading to enhanced learning outcomes. Satisfied students are more likely to choose that institution again or to recommend it to others. This publication summarizes common QA procedures for internal institutional audits, describes the differences between QA in ODL environments and QA in conventional education, presents the framework for managing ODL quality, and describes characteristics of prerequisites and of a quality QA system in new and established institutions. Case studies of QA at the University of New England (U.S.) and Open University (Malaysia) are also presented. (Contains a list of websites.)
Commonwealth of Learning. 1055 West Hastings Suite 1200, Vancouver BC V6E 2E9, Canada. Tel: 604-775-8200; Fax: 604-775-8210; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Commonwealth of Learning
Identifiers - Location: Malaysia; United States