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A Critical Investigation of Quality Assurance in Open Distance E-Learning

A Critical Investigation of Quality Assurance in Open Distance E-Learning
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Author(s): Victor Justice Pitsoe (University of South Africa, South Africa) and Moeketsi Letseka (University of South Africa, South Africa)
Copyright: 2021
Pages: 14
Source title: Research Anthology on Preparing School Administrators to Lead Quality Education Programs
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Information Resources Management Association (USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3438-0.ch078

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Abstract

Quality assurance has become critical to Open Distance Learning (ODL) worldwide. Yet the ODL environment is marked by cultural hegemony. An elite group of individuals strategically dominate the educational arena in order to advance the supremacy of gender, race and socioeconomic status. This chapter highlights a divide between theory and practice. The e-learning paradigm, known as Open Distance e-Learning (ODeL) creates opportunities for practitioners and students with respect to accessibility, flexibility, and cost. But it also creates challenges for quality assurance. Most ODeL texts do not treat quality assurance as discourse, power and cultural hegemony. Policymakers tend to assume that students have similar learning needs. This chapter (1) explores quality assurance; (2) it sketches Unisa's shift to ODeL; (3) argues a case for quality assurance as a practice of hegemony; (4) critiques quality assurance as an Ideological State Apparatus; and (5) proposes a reengineering of quality assurance within alternative frameworks.

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