Endean, Mark; Bai, Bin and Du, Ruo
Quality standards in online distance education.
International Journal of Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning, 3(1)
Art. no. 4.
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Distance education has a long heritage shared by a number of globally important providers, such as The UK Open University and China Central Radio and Television University (now the Open University of China). Such institutions have long-established quality management systems appropriate to their historical needs. However, the recent rise in demand for distance learning coupled with the rapid development of web technologies has led to a dramatic increase in the number of providers in the field, many of whom do not have existing quality management systems. Post-hoc, such organizations are identifying a need for such systems, and groups are emerging with their own quality standards and processes that they claim will meet that need. This paper examines a range of these emerging standards and asks whether a consensus is developing around common standards and/or processes for the quality assurance and enhancement of online distance education.
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