Theory and Practice of Teaching: "An Investigation into Quality Assurance in Internet-Based Education as Defined by Higher Education Organizations"
This article is on the subject of quality distance education programs and the 24 educational benchmarks that quality is based upon.
This mixed method study was completed in order to reassess the importance and pressence of the 24 benchmarks for Internet- based education in higher education. This study was replicated from the Institute for Higher Education Policy study that was completed in 2000. The 24 benchmarks consisted of 7 categories: institutional support, course development, teaching and learning, course structure, student support, faculty support and evaluation assessment. IHEP established these benchmarks as quides in order to have and maintain quality-driven online programs. This study focus on university administrators, faculty members and students perspectives to see what is needed in order to ensure the quality of Internet-based education. The participants of this study felt that more intereactions are needed between instructors and students. There is also a need for standard learning outcomes like proctored exams and counseling services. Vidoes instructions were also another issue that was discussed by many of the participants, along with issues such as instructors technology skills and the provisions of innovative lectures. Some benchmarks received lower scores noting their level of importance and pressence because of the participant's unfamilarity. The study revealed that the 24 benchmarks are important in establishing and maintaining quality online educational programs and they are being used in this environment, but more knowledge is needed concerning their existence and purpose. This study also revealed that more Internet-based educational benchmarks might be needed in order to maintain the future success of quality online education.
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