Three Institutions, Three Approaches, One Goal: Addressing Quality Assurance in Online Learning

Volume, Issue - Date: 
Volume 17, Issue 4 - February 2014
Marwin Britto, University of Saskatchewan—University Library
Cristi Ford, University of the District of Columbia—Research Academy for Integrated Learning
Jean-Marc Wise, Florida State University—Office of Distance Learning
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Quality assurance, online learning

The rapid growth of online academic programs in higher education has prompted institutions to develop processes and implement strategies to ensure the quality of their online offerings. Although there is no one-size-fits-all approach, there are quality standards that institutions can effectively implement regardless of context. This paper examines the approaches of three different types of institutions in addressing quality assurance in online education on their respective campuses. Specifically, this paper presents three case studies and describes each institution’s (1) background and overview, (2) definition of quality, (3) general approach to quality assurance, (4) models and strategies, (5) goals, (6) successes, (7) challenges, and (8) lessons learned. A comparison reveals that despite differences in scope, size, location, mission, and extent of online development, there is consistency in the institutions’ strategies to addressing quality assurance in online learning.