Canadian Guidelines for E-learning Quality Assurance

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Instructional Effectiveness

Baker (2002) has developed some guidelines for assessing the quality of e-learning in Canada. These quality guidelines are generic and are therefore broadly applicable to any area and level of education. Following is a brief summary of these guidelines adapted to the specific needs of this project.

Learner management:

Instructional product/service information for potential learners is: 

  • Clear;
  • Current;
  • Accurate;
  • Comprehensive;
  • Complete; and
  • Readily available.

Advertising, recruiting and admissions information includes: 

  • Pre-requisites and entry requirements;
  • The program overview;
  • Specific delivery format;
  • Course level and credit points;
  • Course length and degree requirements;
  • Types of assignments and grading methods;
  • Learning assessment procedures and evaluation criteria; and
  • All applicable fees, if any. 

Registration procedures that include: 

  • A clear statement of expectations of learners;
  • An intake and placement procedures that provide for individualized program and assessment and recognition of prior learning; and
  • An orientation procedure. 

Management of learners’ records 

  • Document learners enroute and final achievement;
  • Ensure confidentiality of records; and
  • Give learners access to their records. 

Technological support for the delivery and management of learning is: 

  • Navigable;
  • Reliable;
  • Sensitive to bandwidth constraints of students;
  • Compliant with current technology and ICT standards;
  • Appropriate to the subject matter content and skills;
  • Appropriate to the intended learning outcomes;
  • Appropriate to the characteristics and circumstances of the learner;
  • Easily updateable and frequently updated;
  • Designed to promote active learning;
  • Designed to support prior learning;
  • Designed to support collaborative learning and social networking;
  • Designed to support flexible learning;
  • Designed to include assistive devices for persons with disabilities; and
  • Designed to assist learners to use the technology system for accessing the learning program. 

Learning assessment is:

  • Authentic;
  • Competency-based;
  • valid and reliable;
  • Frequent and timely; and
  • Immediate feedback to learners. 

Instructional materials are: 

  • Designed and developed by experts;
  • Learner friendly;
  • Interesting in content;
  • Appealing to learners;
  • Well-organized;
  • Free of cultural, racial, class, age, and gender bias;
  • Accessible to those with disabilities;
  • Free from errors; and
  • Customizable and adaptable to learner needs and abilities. 

Learning content is: 

  • Credible with sources identified;
  • Accurate;
  • Relevant; and
  • Culturally sensitive;. 

Learning package includes: 

  • Course description;
  • Learning objectives;
  • Assessment and completion requirements;
  • Learning resources;
  • Course activities and assignments;
  • Quizzes and examinations; and
  • Access to answers for questions/quizzes. 

Appropriate and necessary personnel include: 

  • Qualified support staff with teaching experience and relevant work experience and/or current knowledge in the field;
  • Appropriate skills for teaching online; and
  • Process support persons. 

Continuous improvements based on routine reviews and evaluation of:

  • Learner support services;
  • Course content and objectives;
  • Learning materials;
  • Instructional design;
  • Student learning and student achievement;
  • Policies and management practices;
  • Operational procedures; and
  • Learner satisfaction;
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