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ERIC Number: EJ850442
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 28
ISSN: ISSN-0968-4883
Quality Management in Course Development and Delivery at the University of the West Indies Distance Education Centre
Thurab-Nkhosi, Dianne; Marshall, Stewart
Quality Assurance in Education: An International Perspective, v17 n3 p264-280 2009
Purpose: In 2004, the University of the West Indies Distance Education Centre (UWIDEC) began incorporating the use of new information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the delivery of its programmes and courses, taking a "blended learning" approach. There is a recognition, however, of the need to ensure the quality of the programme offerings particularly in light of the new move toward the use of ICT. Prior to 2004, UWIDEC had implemented a set of quality assurance procedures for the development of its print materials, however these procedures do not provide for quality in the use of the new ICT, including web-based tools. The purpose of this paper is to describe practical mechanisms and tools used for quality assurance processes in an evolving, dual mode university, adopting ICTs in the provision of open and distance learning. The context and unit of analysis for the case is the UWIDEC. Design/methodology/approach: This paper, using a descriptive, single-case study approach, explores the processes adopted by UWIDEC as it integrated the use of ICTs in its programme delivery. The UWIDEC's application of quality assurance processes and procedures is analysed in relation to the processes and procedures outlined by the US Institute for Higher Education Policy and to a lesser extent other institutions and associations involved in quality assurance in higher education. Findings: In order to provide online distance education that is "fit for purpose", an organization must ensure: institutional support; effective course development; learner-centred interactive delivery; support for students; support for faculty; and a system of evaluation. UWIDEC attempts to do this by developing a series of tools which are all based on guidelines provided by international organizations involved in quality assurance processes and procedures in higher education. Originality/value: This paper expands on the discussion surrounding the difference between quality assurance for conventional modes of higher education versus distance modes. It also provides a description of a case study from a distributed, dual-mode university in small-island developing states, while highlighting the practical tools that can be implemented in these special circumstances. (Contains 3 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A