Wednesday, November 4
3:30 PM-4:00 PM
Room 4

Ensure Quality and Integrity of Online Education and Digital Learning by Adopting and Adapting USA-Based, Research-Supported Quality Frameworks, Guidelines, Standards and Best Practices at Institution, Program and Course Levels

Roundtable ID: 58259
  1. aaa
    Yaping Gao
    Quality Matters, US

Abstract: Due to the disruptive impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic worldwide, institutions are making big investments to offer online/blended/digital learning in different formats to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse student population. What needs to be in place to ensure the integration of these systems provides a connected and trusted learning environment? What research-based quality frameworks, benchmarks, standards, and best practices from the educational communities in USA, at institutional, programmatic, and course levels, are available for adaptation in order to facilitate the maximum return of investments for teaching and learning? Participates in this workshop will have an opportunity to review the current USA-based educational technology landscape before being engaged with group discussion and examination of 1) widely adopted USA-based inter-regional accreditation guidelines for quality assurance at the institutional level; 2) a research-supported quality assurance process and criteria for 4-part certification at programmatic level; and 3) quality standards adopted by over 1350+ institutions globally to guide the design and development of quality online and blended offerings at the course level. The workshop will conclude with reflection from participates on what strategies and resources are needed to establish quality assurance processes to improve teaching and learning at their own institutions.


After the workshop, participants will be able to: ● Describe key aspects of quality review or evaluation for e-learning offerings based on US regional accreditation guidelines at institutional level ● Describe criteria developed and used by US higher education educational community to evaluate the quality and integrity of an online or blended offerings at program level ● Describe US-based research-supported course design quality standards adopted by over 1350+ institutions in 24 countries across 6 continents to ensure the quality of online and blended offerings at course level ● Articulate strategies and internal processes for quality review at the course, program and institution level ● Identify resources and training needed to improve the quality of online or blended offerings at one’s own institution

Topical Outline

Workshop Topical Outline: ● Part I – At the macro level, what does quality look like in an institution offering online or blended learning opportunities? o Key aspects of quality review for e-learning offerings based on US inter-regional accreditation guidelines at institutional level ▪ Institutional mission and vision ▪ Planning and evaluation process for e-learning offerings ▪ Governance and oversight ▪ Curricular and academic rigor ▪ Effectiveness and continuous improvement ▪ Faculty support and evaluation ▪ Student support and services ▪ Institutional resources for support and/or expansion ▪ Academic integrity ● Part II – At the mid-level, what does quality look like in an online/blended program? o Criteria developed and used by US higher education educational community to evaluate the quality and integrity of online or blended offerings at program level ▪ Program design ▪ Teaching support ▪ Student support ▪ Student success ● Part III – At the micro level, what does quality look like in an online/blended or e-learning course? o Research-supported quality standards to guide the design, development, and review of online, blended, and e-learning courses ▪ Course overview ▪ Learning objectives ▪ Assessment & measurement ▪ Instructional materials ▪ Learning activities and learner interaction ▪ Course technology ▪ Learner support ▪ Accessibility & usability


Intended Audience (no prerequisite): • Quality assurance administrators from accrediting bodies and/or certifying agencies • Senior academic officers at institutions • Administrators responsible for quality assurance or accountability • Researchers interested in academic quality assurance • Mid-level administrators, directors or managers for online/blended programs • Faculty engaged in e-learning course development and delivery • Support staff such as learning architects, instructional designer or technologists

Experience Level



With a doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction and concentration on instructional design and educational technology, Dr Gao has over 25 years’ experience in higher education, both in China and USA, as faculty, instructional designer, LMS manager, and online education administrator. Dr Gao believes quality course and program design supported by research and institutional resources facilitates effective instruction, promotes student engagement and active learning, lays the foundation for student success, and supports institutional accreditation process and advancement. In her current position as Senior Academic Director of Member Services and Partnerships at Quality Matters (QM), USA, Dr. Gao leads and oversees QM’s member services, external collaborations and international partnerships. [Detailed CV is available upon request.]
No presider for this session.


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