Tuesday, September 11, 2018

ASCILITE Quality Online Learning Accreditation Framework

The Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education (ASCILITE), is developing a Quality Online Learning Accreditation Framework. The intention is to use this for evaluating the quality of online learning. However, it is not clear to me what is to be evaluated.

ASCILITE already undertakes a certified membership scheme called "CMALT Australasia" in partnership with the Association for Learning Technology (ALT) UK. This provides professional accreditation for those working with learning technology. Like "Groucho" Marx, I was impressed with the CMALT process, as my application was rejected.  ;-)

More seriously, the ASCILITE Quality Online Learning Accreditation Framework is summarized in one table. This table is a little confusing. It has four domains:
  1. Online Environment, 
  2. Learning Tasks, 
  3. Learner Support
  4. Learning Resources
Each domain has a paragraph long definition, then two two standards, each with performance criteria. The definitions don't really help and I suggest could be shortened or omitted. As example, the first starts: "This domain refers to ... The important elements in this domain are ...", which is unnecessary, as the reader know all that from the context. There also appears to be some confusion between the standard and the Performance Criteria. As an example, the first standard says "... supports a positive user experience", which would appear to be a performance criterion.

The way the table is laid out it is difficult to see that each domain has two standards. There is no logical relationship, as far as I can see, between the items along each row in the table. This might be better laid out with three columns: Domain, Standards and Criteria:

DomainStandardPerformance Criteria
Online environment1. User experience1.1. Logically sequenced and organized.
1.2. Inclusive.
1.3. Feedback invited.
2. Learning Support2.1. Responsive across devices and platforms ...

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