ERIC Number: EJ1108764
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Benchmarking Quality in Online Degree Programs Status and Prospects
Mariasingam, Michael A.; Hanna, Donald E.
Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, v9 n3 Fall 2006
The number of online degree programs offered by universities, both within the United States and in other countries around the globe, has expanded remarkably from the year 2000 to 2005. Recent research [Pond (2002), Twigg, (2001), Swail and Kampits (2001), Nielson (1997)] indicates that this rapid expansion has superceded the understanding of how to plan, organize, and evaluate these programs effectively. Currently available frameworks provide general guidelines for creating programs of high quality, but they are not specific enough to be of high value in comprehensively organizing and ensuring a quality online degree program. Hence, the development of a solid and comprehensive framework for benchmarking quality of online degree programs is critical to future program growth and expansion. This discussion is organized around four core themes. First, the authors present the status of currently available quality assessment frameworks for assessing the quality of online degree programs. Second, emerging concepts for quality assessment are reviewed. Third, the authors propose a comprehensive and utilitarian program improvement model, and the model's core concepts, structure, and focus are discussed. Finally, areas for further research in quality improvement and assessment for online degree programs are outlined.
Descriptors: Benchmarking, Online Courses, Guidelines, Program Evaluation, Program Development, Educational Quality, Higher Education, Universities
State University of West Georgia. 1601 Maple Street, Honors House, Carrollton, GA 30118. Tel: 678-839-5489; Fax: 678-839-0636; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A