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ERIC Number: EJ1018803
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1556-3847
Quality Assurance in Large Scale Online Course Production
Holsombach-Ebner, Cinda
Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, v16 n2 Fall 2013
The course design and development process (often referred to here as the "production process") at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU-Worldwide) aims to produce turnkey style courses to be taught by a highly-qualified pool of over 800 instructors. Given the high number of online courses and tremendous number of live sections running at any given time, maintaining quality was a significant concern. The model of faculty instructors each producing and delivering their own online course would make achieving consistency in design and delivery difficult. While this production model is common at many schools, it is known to be ineffective (Bates, 2000, Laird, 2004, Chao, Saj, & Hamilton, 2010), so at ERAU-Worldwide it was decided to centralize the process using a collaborative course production team, administered through the Instructional Design and Development (IDD) department. Over time, a process evolved that ensures healthy collaboration among production team members and meeting quality standards based on sound learning, teaching and instructional design theoretical foundations, both factors cited as key influences on the success of distance learning efforts (Chao, Saj, & Hamilton, 2010). Several ERAU-Worldwide courses have won industry awards, including Quality Matters and Blackboard's Exemplary Course Program, and the influence of the external course review and awards process on the establishment of course design and development quality standards will be addressed in detail by this author. This paper will focus on the purpose (quality assurance) to which ERAU-Worldwide strives for achieving excellence; the philosophy (theoretical foundations) which informs their practice; the physical resources (production team, infrastructure, administration, and organizational culture) that allows the instructors to achieve their goals, and, at the same time, may also pose tangible constraints; and the process that enables instructors to realize the product: high-quality online courses that meet student demand and fulfill learner needs.
State University of West Georgia. 1601 Maple Street, Honors House, Carrollton, GA 30118. Tel: 678-839-5489; Fax: 678-839-0636; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A