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Über dieses Buch

Quality and standardisation in e-learning have become crucial success factors for organisations in learning, education and training: E-Learning has changed from an ‘early adopter’ stage to an integrated part of learning scenarios leading to major changes in educational organisations towards quality orientation.

For building a knowledge society, it is critically important to thoroughly understand quality and standards in e-learning. The handbook provides a cross-national perspective on these issues and draws a clear picture of the situation in quality development and standardisation. It covers topics of a rather foundational nature in quality and standardisation research as well as descriptions of quality approaches, instruments, standards, experiences and best practices. The Handbook is directed to learners, professionals, researchers and policy makers – people creating the next generation of learning.



Quality in European e-learning: An introduction

1. Quality in European e-learning: An introduction

Ulf-Daniel Ehlers, Jan M. Pawlowski

Quality in a Europe of diverse systems and shared goals

2. Quality in a Europe of diverse systems and shared goals

Brian Holmes

European quality development: Methods and approaches


3. Quality of e-learning: Negotiating a strategy, implementing a policy

The concept of quality underlines plural perspectives: there is not a unique vision on quality which can be considered the best one. This implies that quality has a “subjective”, contextual and “objective” components. The latter involves defining a set of common criteria by which the quality of e-learning can be assessed, but it is undoubted that the way that different stakeholders will weight the criteria can be very different.

If the object of the quality is defined as the “learning experience” considered in its three components - sources, processes and internal/ external context - quality means complexity and systemic view.

Every organisation/ institutions/ body which is working at any levels in an elearning system should be aware of the multiplicity and multiperspectives of the visions on quality and be ready to start a process of understanding other view points and negotiate the approach to be adopted.

The key elements for supporting European quality in e-learning are understanding, dialogue action and review of results to date, that is a typical quality assurance loop.

Furthermore, in this perspective it emerges the need to work together among the different stakeholders in order to define common needs and to start a fruitful and valuable peer learning process which represent the new frontier of the collaboration within the European scenarios.

Claudio Dondi, Michela Moretti, Fabio Nascimbeni

4. The maze of accreditation in European higher education

Julia Flasdick, Lutz P. Michel, Amaury Legait

5. Adopting quality standards for education and e-learning

Jan M. Pawlowski

6. Process-oriented quality management

Quality management is a concept that has permanently grown up and been improved, and it integrates customer orientation, process orientation and quality orientation. Total Quality Management covers all the requirements of an Integrative Management concept. The revision and further development of the standard family ISO 9000:2000ff. have led to internationally accepted quality standards for the development and implementation of a quality management system and for its certification. Process-oriented quality management can look back on a long-term development that, in the sense of a continuous improvement process cannot be finished, but has always to be evaluated and further developed. For that reason quality will be remaining the complex crucial success factor for the entire management in the future.

Christian Stracke

7. An analysis of international quality management approaches in e-learning: Different paths, similar pursuits

Markus A. Wirth

8. The quality mark e-learning: Developing process- and product-oriented quality

In this article, we have shown quality marks for e-learning, in particular the holistic, harmonised approach of the Quality Mark e-learning, QSEL. QSEL is directed to improve the quality of an organisation, as well as its products and services. The quality mark will be submitted to standardisation organisations in order to further harmonise quality marks and to ease the orientation for e-learning providers and customers.

Thomas Lodzinski, Jan M. Pawlowski

9. Competency-based quality securing of e-learning (CQ-E)

John Erpenbeck, Lutz P. Michel

10. Quality of e-learning products

Thomas Berger, Ulrike Rockmann

11. Quality evaluation for e-learning in Europe

Ulf-Daniel Ehlers, Lutz Goertz

12. Towards a model for structuring diversity: Classifying & finding quality approaches with the EQO model

The ongoing discussion about quality management in general and about quality in education specifically shows that there are numerous different dimensions, criteria, perspectives and corresponding vocabularies that have to be taken into account when applying a quality strategy. There has been developed a variety of quality approaches in the past to enhance the quality of the different educational scenarios.

As there is existing a great variety of quality approaches in the field of elearning a support system is needed to support the user systematically to make the right decision in choosing an approach that fits to the special needs in each situation. Generally, the process of decision-making can be characterised using a four-step model. The European Quality Observatory has developed the EQO the right quality approach and in making decisions. Focus of the metadata scheme is to give criteria and elements to describe, compare and handle different approaches — even to give structured information and thus to provide decision support. With the Decision Cycle there has been developed a process model to support any actors involved in quality in e-learning in finding the appropriate quality strategy for any e-learning scenario.

With the results of the EQO project first important steps have been made to provide the urgently needed support for dealing with the complex field of quality approaches in e-learning. However, it is obvious that this was only a starting point and that there is great demand for further research in this field to provide better support for the process of implementing quality approaches.

Barbara U. Hildebrandt, Sinje J. Teschler

E-learning standards


13. The standards jungle: Which standard for which purpose?

Kai Heddergott

14. Architectures and frameworks

Rolf Lindner

15. Content and management standards: LOM, SCORM and Content Packaging

Christian Prpitsch, Patrick Veith

16. Educational interoperability standards: IMS learning design and DIN didactical object model

Michael Klebl

17. Developing and handling learner profiles for European learner information systems

The European Union has already set up the processes for transforming European education in a ‘

world quality reference

’. The fulfilment of this ambitious goal involves the development and adoption of a European Learner Profile for the expression of European citizens’ learning, training and employment related information across the entire European Education Area. Europass constitutes an important step towards this direction. Learning technology standardisation initiatives both at a European level and within several member states (UK, France, etc.) have contributed in the production of the corresponding technical interoperability specifications, setting the grounds for the implementation of European Learner Information Systems.

Cleo Sgouropoulou

18. Improving European employability with the e-portfolio

With a particular focus on competency grids, format harmonisation, system interoperability and protection of personal data and security issues, quality insurance process regarding e-portfolio concentrates on recommendations for further work on specifications and standards as well as building reference models and implementations to better match users’ needs.

The e-portfolio will provide an opportunity for the European Union to have a stronger implication in improving European employability through its promotion, provided there is a coordinated action regarding validation of competencies across Europe according to the Learner competency model developed by CEN, respecting personal data protection in the format used for e-portfolios and finally implementing system interoperability. A direct effect expected from developing appropriate European standards in this domain will be an increase of ease of use and efficiency of e-portfolios. The wider use of e-portfolio depends also on the human factor, namely the reactions of users and other stakeholders which have to be tackled by appropriate methods to be measured by quality procedures.

Michel Arnaud

19. Interface standards: Integration of learning and business information systems

Markus Bick, Jan M. Pawlowski

20. Facilitating learning objects reusability in different accessibility settings

In this paper we established the need to define an accessibility application profile for learning resources and presented a methodology for defining such an application profile based on the three main accessibility dimensions. We presented the first step towards the definition of such an application profile. The proposed Accessibility Application Profile of the IEEE LOM has been developed in the context of CEN/ ISSS Learning Technologies Workshop as an initial proposal produced by our research group for consideration in the project team entitled “Accessibility properties for Learning Resources”. Future work includes the creation of an integrated accessibility application profile based on W3C and IMS ACCLIP guidelines utilising mappings of W3C WCAG with IEEE LOM, as well as, the identification of other content specific accessibility guidelines and application specific accessibility guidelines as influence factors to the accessibility application profile.

Pythagoras Karampiperis, Demetrios G. Sampson

21. Out of the past and into the future: Standards for technology enhanced learning

Wayne Hodgins

Fields of practice and case studies


22. Organisational and cultural similarities and differences in implementing quality in e-learning in Europe’s higher education

Most challenges are related with management in Higher Education institutions and the difficulty of considering students as “clients” more than “users” and definitely different of “products”.

In addition, there are not particular quality models fully adapted to the educational reality. In some countries, lack of formal regulations considering ODL in the same level of conventional education is also an important handicap. On the other hand, some norms are too manufacturing process-based integrating too many administrative issues, so a need of inclusion of pedagogical approaches is needed.

Nevertheless, the


project is an interesting opportunity to develop and validate a set of pertinent and clear indicators that enable the measurement of results and give confidence enough in order to make growing a good image of ODL quality.

Bernard Dumont, Albert Sangra

23. Rethinking quality for building a learning society

The emergence of a learning society and knowledge economy requires the transformation of the old quality reference framework. This transformation cannot be a mere adaptation of the old framework, but a radical transformation based on the new political, economical, sociological and technological context.

This empowerment of individuals through technologies has transformed the nature of the relations between learners and learning support staff, the learning employee and her employer and the learning citizen and his learning communities. The pervasive presence of, and ubiquitous access to, knowledge technologies provide the foundations for a seamless learning environment, linking individual, community, organisational and territorial learning, recognising to a fuller extent that learning occurs in context, learning is active, learning is social, learning is reflective. So is quality — and e-quality!

Maureen Layte, Serge Ravet

24. Myths and realities in learner oriented e-learning-quality

Ulf-Daniel Ehlers

25. The e-learning path model: A specific quality approach to satisfy the needs of customers in e-learning

Readers interested to get more on this quality model can download the complete version of the study in French and a lengthy abstract in English on Le Préau’s website (Preau). They can also get a thorough description of it on the EQO (European Quality Observatory) Repository and add, on the same data base, their return of experience while using it. It will be very interesting to confront how it fits in the various contexts of implementation and cultures of users. Probably, all together, we can refine it and make it more suited to a real European culture and context. A discussion forum, hosted by EQO, may help us to achieve this goal.

Anne-Marie Husson

26. Pedagogic quality — supporting the next UK generation of e-learning

John Anderson, Robert McCormick

27. Quality in cross national business models for technology based educational services

Quality becomes a decisive success factor in cross national business models for technology based educational services - besides the cost factor.

Existing quality approaches have a general disadvantage. The focus isolated quality aspects of technology, education or business factors.

The concept introduced here transfers traditional quality approaches to a new strategic approach. With the overall objective to provide successful business models, it integrates the traditional quality approaches into an integral perspective to quality. At this integration level technological, educational and economical quality parameters are related appropriately. The learner perspective serves as the central reference point.

The concept improves the quality significantly by concrete normative quality parameters which are embedded in a generic process-oriented quality framework.

Martin Gutbrod, Helmut W. Jung, Stefan Fischer

28. E-learning quality and standards from a business perspective

Thomas Reglin

29. A framework for quality of learning resources

Frans van Assche, Riina Vuorikari

30. LearnRank: Towards a real quality measure for learning

Now that we have the open standards in place to build a large scale infrastructure for learning, we can start focusing on quality, much in the same way that web search engines shifted focus from being exhaustive to providing relevant results.

With this paper, I’d like to call for more focus on the development of good LearnRank measures, rather than on only indirectly and partially relevant indicators of quality for learning.

Erik Duval

31. Quality of e-learning in tertiary education: Managing a balance between divergence and convergence

Miho Taguma

32. Best practices for e-learning

Rob Edmonds


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