Welcome to my blog on Quality, elearning, OER, OEP, OEC, and user generated content (UGC)

The posts in my blog will be both in English and Swedish.
Blogposterna kommer att vara både på svenska och engelska.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Reconsidering the agenda for technology enhancement and quality enhancement

Several research studies as well as leading international organisations, as UNESCO, OECD, Commonwealth of Learning (COL), and in Europe the European Commission (EC) have for long time emphasized that  digital success, and capability extended far beyond 
technology adoption, and encompasses the entire institutional  leadership and community. 

The key question for the future of digital education is not how to adapt education to digital technologies and a digital world, but how to leverage digital technologies to fundamentally change educational systems so that they may again ful fill their promise of continually expanding human potential. 

In my recent blogpost  (17th July 2017) I wrote about The Digital Education Manifesto agreed during the EU 2017 Malta meeting. In this  Manifesto the  group argues that just as in every other industry which has been disrupted, the disruption comes not from technology, but from those new business/ operational models which best manage to take advantage of technologies to address people’s needs. Furthermore, they argues that for education to influence current international trends these trends, it needs to lead rather than react to technological change, and, in particular by proposing a vision for the digital revolution to enrich rather than replace traditions of humanism. The background for this Manifesto are that:

Multiple surveys show skills gaps between what is taught and what is needed – both in terms of life skills and skills for employment. Uneven uptake of competences for a digital society are creating a new digital-divide. The Internet, the emergence of smart, personal technologies and the mass uptake of the social web are further challenging long-standing power relations between education institutions and those they prepare for their lifelong learning and employment journey. Our educational systems are faltering in their ability to deliver on their core promise - leading to broader social questioning of the value of education, expertise or even the scienti c method as a whole. 

EDEN, the European Distance and e-learning Network contributes, and will take a lead, to do so they official launched its special interest group (SIG) on technology enabled learning (TEL) and quality enhancement (QE) during  the EDEN Conference in Jönköping 2017, Sweden 13-16 June 2017.  

Bildresultat för eden  jönköping image

EDEN hosted a series of four workshops/ cafe´s during the entire conference with the themes:

  •  Purpose and why EDEN will take on the work of launching a SIG on TEL and QE, moderated and contribution by Ebba Ossiannilsson
  •  Renewing the quality agenda, moderated by Ulf Ehlers
  •  Quality in TEL on micro, meso, and macro level, and who are the stakeholders, moderated and contribution by Ebba Ossiannilsson, and also Sandra Kucina Softic, and, Antonio Teixeira
  • Innovation for quality leadership, moderated by Ulf Ehlers

Each workshop was a stand-alone event, but all of them were one of the highlight contributions from EDEN during the conference days. The workshops were a start for the EDEN SIG on TEL Quality Enhancement, activities to work further on, especially together with EDEN NAP, and to get EDEN members involved to continue to learn together.

The first workshop introduced and presented the rationals, of the EDEN SIG on Technology Enabled Learning (TEL), and Quality Enhancement, and the series of wokshops/learning cafes were introduced, and why EDEN will take a lead on TEL and QE. State of the art in research and practices, current challenges and challenges ahead were also discussed. In addition, EDEN NAP presented how they can support and engage members. Suggestions were also raised on different events throughout the year, like EDEN NAP Tweet Chats, Webinars, and a special space for resources (persons, events, quality models etc.), at the EDEN NAP area, and also at the EDEN webpage. In the end of the conference the EDEN President summarized the workshops/learning cafes, and how EDEN can contribute to the international quality agenda related to TEL for qualiyt enhancement.

Two recent book (2016, 2017) on TEL QE were introduced during the 1st workshop

Bildresultat för technology enabled learning image
Kirkwood and Price (2016) COL

Duval, Sharples, and Sutherland(Eds.), 2017

The third workshop raise questions on quality on micro, meso, and mccrolevel. The spectra on norm based vs process base quality accreditation and self evaluation was discussed, as well as stakeholders, and maturity levels. The second, and the fourth workshop raised questions on reniewing the quality agenda and  leadership for quality.

In the rise of opening up education, related to the UNESCO Sustainability Goals, especially number 4 on education, and the fourth industrial revolution quality related issues are of highest importance, and there  are needs to reconsider the quality agenda as such for education. It was agreed that this special interest group will play a huge role for EDEN, its members and the open online learning community. It was a common understanding a well that there are needs to reconsider the agenda for technology enhancement and quality enhancement. It was also agreed that leadership, and management are crucial, and to develop a culture of quality within the organisations, so bottom up initiatives are supported by active leadership, and management, but also the other way that leaders and managers at all levels take responsibilities for visions, mission and strategies.

In  a paper from EducauseReview by Grajek(2016) they emphasized the importance of an ecosystem for a change, but not at least for sustainability within an organization, they argued that the following is required

  • A sufficient and sustainable funding model
  • A sufficient and sustainable staffing model
  • Active support from institutional leadership
  • Active support from the faculty
  • Engagement of the entire institutional community
  • Adequate training for the institutional community
  • Alignment with institutional strategy
  • Dedicated leadership of the area
  • Support for policies that are appropriate and clear
To be successful, with quality development in an organization it all boils down to leadership. It is true as the saying states

Nothing is stronger than the weakest link in an organization

The action plan for EDEN SIG TEL QE will be to work through EDEN Network of Academics (NAP), and to involve members, both as experts, but also for everyone with an interest in QE and TEL, but also with dissemination, and to set up a HUB a special space for resources (persons, events, quality models etc.) The action plan for the following year will include activities as:

A space at the EDEN NAP web site for SIG TEL QE, and also at the EDEN webpage, for resources, events, experts, quality model and current news within the areas
EDEN NAP Tweet Chat
EDEN NAP Webinars
Newsletter on hot topics within the areas
E-mail lists

EDEN SIG TEL QE is coordinated by Dr Ebba Ossiannilsson, EDEN EC

The core group are: Dr. Sandra Kucina Softic, EDEN EC, Dr. Mark Nichols, EDEN EC, Dr. Airina Volungevičienė, EDEN President, Dr. Antonella Pocs, EDEN NAP, Dr. Antonio Teixeira, and Dr. Ulf Ehlers


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