eLearning at Universities: A Quality Assurance Free Zone?

Quality QA

Licensed CC by benwatts

Over the last couple of months I have been asked to help a university (that will remain nameless) in its transition to a newer version of of its Learning Management System (LMS). As part of this I have had to access many LMS course spaces to check that content has migrated successfully and that that things are working as they should.

It has been a profoundly depressing experience. I knew it would be and you’ll appreciate why I knew if you look at my current full time occupation.

Let me begin begin by saying that there are a few dirty little secrets about online learning at traditional universities. Here are two:

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ALTC and Innovation


Innovation - licensed CC by Vermin Inc

I wrote a post last week on the demise of the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) but never actually published it. Thankfully David Jones (@djplaner) wrote a much more thoughtful and balanced post about the topic on his own blog which is well worth reading. Particularly his thoughts on the culture of research incentives for career progression. Mine was a little blunter and shorter and won’t see the light of day now. But what I will do is make a couple of observations about what has happened since and particularly of this idea that ALTC is a great driver of innovation in learning and teaching in universities. This has been been particularly spurred a letter in today’s Australian Higher Education supplement from Professor Peter Goodyear and Professor Sally Kift in which the demise of ALTC is seen as a great blow for innovation in L&T. Read more