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Lawrence C. Ragan Penn State’s World Campus Defining Quality Standards for Online Education CADE, Calgary May 2002.

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Presentation on theme: "Lawrence C. Ragan Penn State’s World Campus Defining Quality Standards for Online Education CADE, Calgary May 2002."— Presentation transcript:

1 Lawrence C. Ragan Penn State’s World Campus Defining Quality Standards for Online Education CADE, Calgary May 2002

2 Program Goals Discuss quality variables and their impact on the design and development of online course instructionDiscuss quality variables and their impact on the design and development of online course instruction Review set of quality standards developed to guide the design, development and delivery of instruction onlineReview set of quality standards developed to guide the design, development and delivery of instruction online

3 Assignment #1  Turn to Defining Quality and complete definition  Compare answer with partner at table  What was common in both definitions?

4 Defining Quality  Writing by committee: An event or experience that provides a reasonable opportunity for success for the student and instructor

5 Defining Quality  Varied interpretations of “quality”  Several industry-wide guidelines or standards for production of course materials (CHEA, AAHE, others)  Broad statements of principles and guidelines

6 Bottom Line  The definition of quality varies from institution to institution and is dependent upon the mission and model of the online initiative.

7 Assignment 2: Quality Characteristics  To define quality we need to define variables  Turn to #2. Complete Quality Characteristics variable labels  Compare answer with partner at table  What variables were common in both lists?

8 Quality Characteristics  Dependability  Reliability  Performance (speed)  Value  Consistent  Measurable  Etc…

9 Quality Characteristics-NOT  Technology  Cost  Aesthetic  “Gee whiz factor”

10 Quality Standards-2 Options  Develop standards that can be used to judge the “readiness” of a course/educational event for an online delivery format  Develop standards of design that can serve as a specifications guide  Difficult to do both in single document

11 Considering Implementation  Development of plans for implementation  Institutionalizing standards  Developing “failure to comply” strategies

12

13 WC Online Design Standards  Struggle between specifications document and “quality filter”  Had to decide on “objective” of the publication  Opted for “quality filter’

14 Quality Filter Described  Create an instrument that would serve as a “readiness assessment tool” for courses NOT designed or developed BUT to be delivered via the World Campus.  Is not created as a design specification document

15 WC ODS Categories  COURSE PROFILE TOOL: method of gathering demographic information regarding the nature of the course –Asynchronous vs synchronous –Nature of assignments –Timing and duration –Individual vs cohort –Etc…

16 WC ODS Categories  Review COURSE PROFILE TOOL  What questions would you add to make this work at your institution? –What platform for delivery? (browser) –Learner and setting analysis - target audience, student profile –Special (#19) may not be specific enough - define general applications –Mission or objectives of course should be outlined –Computer literacy prerequisites –Availability of faculty –Practical applications - lab requirements –Nature and timing of exams –Group under location requirements –Communication to student about how to start –Total instructional time to manage the course

17 Online Design Standards  User Interface :  issues of structure, navigation, and layout  Media Elements :  issues related to the use of technology  Software : issues related to the use of software and the implications of its use in the course  Permissions/Legal : issues relating to the legality of course and related content  Accessibility : issues related to the accessibility of the course to all students

18 User Interface  Graphics/text only version  Use of thumbnails  Function tools should be big and obvious  Restrict or eliminate pop-ups and advertising  Culturally appropriate design and graphic content  Links to each page without having to go back to homepage

19 Media Elements  Appropriate use of media  Variety of media mix  Considerate of student bandwidth  Designed to support learning objectives  Considerate of development costs

20 Media Elements  General area that addresses software and hardware issues  Very PC-based, should be Mac or PC  Firewalls and proxy servers  Download requirements

21 Instructional Design  Clear learning objectives  Clear connection between learning objectives and assessment process  Clearly articulated assessment criteria and process  Non-ambiguous use of language  Appropriately designed learning activities

22 Software  No “experimental” software (beta releases, shareware)  No non-supported software  Reasonable costs  Available for international purchase  Etc…

23 Permissions/Legal  World clearance of permissions  Intellectual property issues  Cleared for delivery online  “Time cleared”- for duration of the program and repeated offerings

24 Accessibility  Cultural/gender factors and filters  Adapting to culture rather than just translating  Sensitivity issues could be provided to writer/designer at the start of the process

25 Summary  Quality standards need to be defined in the context of the institution  Quality characteristics need to be articulated (vary based on context)  Need to define purpose of quality standards: readiness or specifications  Define implementation plan

26 Thank you Larry Ragan


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