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Quality Assurance in Technology Enhanced Learning Process 27 February, 2012

Prof. Kalyan Kumar Datta, Honorary Emeritus Professor of Jadavpur University, led the weekly discussion on 27th February 2013 with his talk on “Quality Assurance in Technology Enhanced Learning Process”.

Objective of the session:

Try to sensitize the faculty members on some of the quality attributes to be looked into while using Technology enhanced learning and also to point to possible directions to stimulate further discussions towards evolving an accepted methodology for evaluating in Technology Enhanced Learning.

Preamble:

1. Technology enabled learning has emerged as an effective means of imparting knowledge.

2. Use of Technology enhanced learning in an enhanced scale catalyzed by the MHRD sponsored programs like NPTEL and NMEICT.

3. Possible to involve a large number of faculty members in developing Video based and web based instructional material for different disciplines and levels.

4. Instruction materials developed are being used by students cutting across organizations.

Need for Quality Assurance

This is the right moment to introspect whether the teaching community is giving enough attention in assuring the quality of the instruction materials already developed and being used for teacher learning.

The bulk of the quality assurance duties have to be performed by the development themselves

The domain experts need to be sensitized to perform the QA role in addition to the courseware development

Quality Assurance (QA)

  • QA is a process to ensure that the quality of product or services meets some predetermined standard.
  • The QA task for the TEL courseware gets complicated because the courseware cannot be evaluated in isolation
  • To evaluate the quality, one has to look into all the components of the entire teaching learning process in which such TEL courseware component is embedded.

Quality Standards and Guidelines for TEL

  • Quality Standard for learning education and Training (2005)
  • Sharable Content Object Reference Model (2004)
  • Canadian Recommended e-Learning Guidelines (2002)
  • Quality Assurance Agency of UK Guidelines (2002)
  • Australian Universities Quality Agency Guidelines (2001)

Components of Teaching – Learning Process

  • Target Learner Analysis.
  • Content Analysis for Curriculum and Syllabus and Lesson Plan design conforming to the desired outcome and learner’s prior knowledge.
  • Instruction design using suitable pedagogy, interaction design and media management.
  • Embedding content in selected delivery mechanism.
  • Planning, Organization and Program Management
  • Evaluation Process and feedback mechanisms
  • Student Administration including student tracking and support services

Courseware Requirement Analysis Should cover:

  • Need Analysis
  • Learner Analysis
  • Content Analysis
  • Environment Analysis

Course Structure includes

  • Objectives
  • Content
  • Learning Methods
  • Media
  • Assessment Methods

Domains of Teaching - Learning Process

There are several domains in the teaching-learning Process. These domains are:

Course domain which includes prerequisite of course and desired outcome, curriculum and syllabus, lesson plan, instruction material, reference recourse material, interactive problem solving facility and the flexibility to accommodate the revised students requirements.

Instruction Design domain that includes the lecture delivery, pedagogy, interaction design and feedback mechanism.

Evaluation domain could be online, offline, quizzes, end semester exams and assignments

Laboratory domain for the science and engineering students. This could be physical or virtual.

Instructor domain for motivating the students

Technology domain covers the lecture delivery, ease of use and contextual help and system resumption

Administration domain includes student tracking, mentoring, remedial action for non-performance, alert services and the cost aspect

TEL environment

TEL as an environment integrates 4 main components. These components are :

  • The learning Management Systems
  • The learning content management system
  • A variety of asynchronous and synchronous tools for delivering educational material and enabling interaction among participants
  • Virtual Laboratory

A holistic conceptual framework of Technology Enhanced Learning consists of three main categories:

Design Attributes

  • Navigation
  • Learnability
  • Accessibility
  • Consistency
  • Visual Design

Instruction Design attributes

  • Interactivity
  • Content & Resources
  • Media use
  • Learning strategies used
  • Instructional feedback
  • Instructional Assessment
  • Learner guidance & support

Learners’ Affective Response

  • Motivation to Learn
  • Attention
  • Relevance
  • Confidence
  • Satisfaction

There are a few TEL Design Quality principles that affect the learning experiences:

1. Individual differences relevant to learning styles and preferences:

This would require Content in multiple formats, availability of Navigational options and Active & Collaborative interactions (individual or group based)

2. Information Overload

This can be tackled by organising Content into small modules/units and providing option to learn each module/unit

3. Contextual Learning

Knowledge is a product of activity, context and culture in which it is developed and used. So use case – studies and map learning task within professional practices

4. Social Learning

Learning is a social process. Peer review, feedback and discussion topics enable this process.

5. Emotional engagement and affect: focus on motivation

Allow provision for tasks of optimal novelty and difficulty, relevant to personal interests and providing for personal choice & control. Also, develop learners’ confidence in performance from practice elements.

6. Active Learning

Prompt learner to seek and discern variation in knowledge and experience in which they are involved through problem based learning activities and small group discussions

7. Reflective Learning

Reflection allows individuals to correct distortions in their belief. Allow provision for extensive and timely feedback.

Evaluation Process

Evaluation comprises the systematic gathering and observing of a broad range of evidence in order to gage the impacts and effectiveness of an object, program or process. Systematic gathering of this feedback is crucial to ensuring quality of provision and successful management of a program or project.

The types of evaluations are Front end analysis, Formative evaluation, Summative Evaluation and Monitoring or integrative evaluation

A Framework for Evaluation Process: Best Practices

In conclusion

TEL is evolving and research on Quality Assurance of TEL is also an on-going process.

Identification of Quality attributes is a complex task and requires in-depth research.

TEL content creation is still thought of as an art and requires innovative thinking to produce a content rich, easy to understand instruction material using prevalent suitable teaching strategies.

TEL good practices are to be evolved Nationally.

It is advisable to follow the good practices without restricting the creative thinking to develop a quality instruction material.