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Source:

https://onlinelearningconsortium.org/attend-2017/accelerate/olc-accelerate-2
017-session-page/?session=3685
<https://onlinelearningconsortium.org/attend-2017/accelerate/olc-accelerate-
2017-session-page/?session=3685&kwds=legon> &kwds=legon

 

 

Can a US-based, research-supported approach to quality assurance be adapted
to education systems outside of USA? The presenters will share their
experience working through the first two years of a five-year collaboration
agreement between a leading US-based quality assurance organization and a
major research university in China.

 

EXTENDED ABSTRACT

Can a US-based, research-supported approach to quality assurance and
continuous improvement in online education, adopted by over 1000 higher
educational institutions, K-12, and other educational organizations for over
a decade, be adapted to education systems outside of USA? What needs to be
taken into consideration, and what adjustments are needed in order for the
quality standards developed for the US-based and other English-speaking
educational communities to be applicable to an education environment that is
very different culturally and pedagogically?

The presenters will share their experience working through the first two
years of a five-year collaboration agreement signed in May of 2015 between a
leading US-based quality assurance organization and a major research
university in China, the culmination of several years of informal contacts
and preliminary explorations of mutual vision and interest between the two
parties. The goal for the first two years was to carry out research and
subsequently, based on the researching findings, adapt the widely adopted
US-based rubric to develop a set of standards that are culturally
appropriate and pedagogically acceptable to the Chinese higher education
community in order to promote and foster a quality assurance process in its
online education practice.

After a core group of faculty, staff and administrators from the Chinese
research university received two-week long online training, in the summer of
2015, on how to apply the US-based standards, they completed a survey to
provide their views on whether the US-based standards are suitable for the
current Chinese online education environment. The survey questions were
scored by Richter's five-point scale, from "Very Suitable" to "Completely
Unsuitable".

Next, the workshop completers conducted reviews on a number of Chinse online
and blended courses to assess the fit between the US-based standards and
Chinese online course design practice. The instructors were asked to
determine whether the US-based standards were "Met" or "Not Met" for each
aspect of the course and why.

Combining the above work, an overall analysis was conducted on the
suitability of the US-based standards to the Chinese online education
environment, the gap between current Chinese online courses and the criteria
to meet US-based standards, and what needed to be improved in the current
Chinese online course design practice.

The presenters will share some results and analysis from this research
study. While it is not surprising to see that the high-suitability standards
indicated by the Chinese participants are also US-based essential standards,
which focus on the course overview, instructional materials and learning
activities, some low-suitability standards identified do not correspond with
the importance level assigned to these US-based standards. Three reasons
have been proposed to explain the discrepancies: 1) influence by language
and translation; 2) influence by contextual factors; and 3) influence by
cultural factors.

In evaluating whether the Chinese courses met US-based standards, all the
courses received scores lower than the required minimal total score to meet
US-based standards overall with a 44 points difference between the highest
and the lowest scores, which shows that a big gap exists between current
Chinese online courses and the US-based standards. In analyzing the course
reviews, the US-based Standards fell into four categories: perfect fitting,
challenging, potential, and not as important.

Based on the results of the research, an adapted rubric of Chinese higher
education online course quality standards have been developed, which is not
only applicable to the Chinese culture and pedagogical practices, but also,
more importantly, will serve as a benchmarking tool to promote and foster a
quality assurance process for online education throughout the Chinese higher
education community. 

 


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