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Evaluating Quality in the Online Classroom

Evaluating Quality in the Online Classroom
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Author(s): Lesley Blicker (Minnesota State Colleges and Universities and Metropolitan State University, USA)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 9
Source title: Encyclopedia of Distance Learning, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Patricia L. Rogers (Bemidji State University, USA), Gary A. Berg (California State University Channel Islands (Retired), USA), Judith V. Boettcher (Designing for Learning, USA), Caroline Howard (HC Consulting, USA), Lorraine Justice (Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong) and Karen D. Schenk (K. D. Schenk and Associates Consulting, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-198-8.ch136


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learning in higher education began at least a half-decade ago when Web-based distance education started expanding at an exponential rate. Traditional quality measures associated with accreditation did not match the new climate of Internet-based teaching and learning (Parker, 2004). Multiple national and global pressures demanded that colleges and universities address issues of quality specifically related to distance Web-based courses and programs. Not the least of expectant stakeholders were state regulators and accrediting bodies. How could a teaching process so dissimilar to centuries of place-based, traditional classroom methods possibly embody quality education? In an attempt to address these questions, institutions and virtual consortia began developing quality evaluation instruments, best practice models, and guidelines for assessing quality in the online course. By applying a common set of criteria to courses under development, institutions could, if they chose, evaluate which courses were worthy of being added to their growing complement of Web-based offerings.

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