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Quality Standards 2.0 launches July 1

June 28, 2013

On July 1, eCampusAlberta will launch a new Quality eToolkit and updated quality assurance policy — Quality Standards 2.0 — to help member institutions continue providing world-class online education to Albertans.

“We’re absolutely committed to excellence, which requires that our quality standards evolve with academic and technological developments,” said Dr. Tricia Donovan, Executive Director, eCampusAlberta. “Over the past year, we reviewed and refined the existing Quality Suite —including the Essential Quality Standards, Quality eRubric, Curricula Assessment Scorecard, and Course Review and Report Process — for effectiveness, usage, and alignment with current literature.”

Strategic analysis of the Quality Suite included surveys, stakeholder consultations, and a formal comparison of eCampusAlberta standards with close to 40 existing quality standards including the renowned Quality Matters program hosted by Maryland Online and Enterprise and Advanced Education’s CAQC standards.

Approved by the Board of Governors on May 1, Quality Standards 2.0 ensures that eCampusAlberta, on behalf of its members, leads the development and review of course-design quality standards to reflect internationally-recognized best practices, as well as the review of new online courses, periodic review of existing courses, and monitoring of course revisions and the course-listing process.

“We’re excited to launch the new Quality Standards 2.0 and especially the Quality eToolkit, which is accessible from mobile devices and provides easy access to the print and online resources needed to develop and assess high-quality online courses,” said Donovan. “The eToolkit has the updated Essential Quality Standards, examples of effective practices within member institutions, and much more.”

Grounded in research and best practice, the Essential Quality Standards outline 27 requirements in seven categories — Web Design, Course Information, Organization, Pedagogy, Writing, Resources and Technology.

Over the past two months, Barb Armstrong, eCampusAlberta Quality Manager, and Christine Marles, Quality Consultant, have delivered an orientation to each member institution to review the updated standards and tools.  

“We are grateful to our members for their collaboration and dedication to quality excellence, and we’re excited to share the results with a wider audience,” said Armstrong.  “Institutions are doing some outstanding design work and we look forward to collecting samples of exemplary online course components from our member institutions over the next few months to showcase in the Quality eToolkit.”  

“We are very pleased with the response from our members’ course developers and instructors who have participated in the orientation sessions. They are looking forward to using the new Quality eToolkit and see it as a very valuable resource” said Marles.

eCampusAlberta has been invited to participate in a panel discussion on the role of consortia in quality standards and online learning at the Quality Matters conference in Nashville this October.