eLearning Papers • www.elearningpapers.eu •
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
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 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
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.
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.