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Towards greater quality literacy in a eLearning Europe

Towards greater quality literacy in a eLearning Europe -...

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eLearning Papers • www.elearningpapers.eu • 1 Vol 2, Nº 1 • January 2007 • ISSN 1887-1542 Towards greater quality literacy in a eLearning Europe Dr. Ulf-Daniel Ehlers University of Duisburg-Essen Summary The article emphasises the importance of viewing quality development not as an add-on to eLearning, e.g. as an isolated evaluation approach at the end of a course. Quality development, rather, is viewed as a key aspect, occurring in every single development and delivery process of eLearning courses and programmes. From research, three concepts can be utilised and combined to form a new, comprehensive concept of quality development: 1. Quality development has to lead to better learning. This viewpoint can be called education-orientated quality development and emphasises that quality development has to take into account the learners’ situation. Learners’ preferences are analysed to show that they cover a multitude of factors and preference profiles. This suggests that quality approaches have to be highly flexible and allow for individualised quality. 2. Quality development, however, has to take into account not only the learners’ needs; it is a process in which the interests and requirements of the eLearning stakeholders have to be considered as a whole and combined to form a comprehensive concept. Quality in this respect is seen as a relation between the demands and needs of a stakeholder group and the actual delivery of eLearning. In order to shape this relationship in the best possible way, a negotiation process is necessary, involving all stakeholders and integrating their preferences and situations against the background of the given economical and organisational situation. These negotiation processes occur in different positions of the learning environment. We suggest utilising process models such as the ISO Reference Model. 3. The third part of the concept is concerned with the question of how existing concepts, approaches and strategies can be used for quality development. A decision cycle is being suggested that makes it possible to find a suitable quality approach for a given context. However, to decide which quality approach is suitable, to choose from a set of possible strategies, and to adapt those strategies to the specific situational context, certain competencies are necessary. For these competencies, we developed the concept of quality literacy. It covers competencies such as knowledge of quality development, experiences in using particular instruments, modification skills and the ability to thoroughly analyse one’s own situation and needs. Keywords: eLearning, Quality, Quality Literacy The article was previously published in: Schoob, Eric, Gilge, Stefan (2006): European Integration Forum.
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