The Quality Challenge: An Inconvenient Truth About e-Learning

The Centre for Learning Innovation and Professional Practice at Aston University  is happy to invite you to a  free morning  talk on  quality and technology enhanced learning. The presenter, Professor Mark Brown, is Director of the National Centre for Teaching and Learning at Massey University in New Zealand. He is also the Director of the Distance Education and Learning Futures Alliance (DELFA) which has a mission of building an international network of leaders at the forefront of new innovations in teaching and learning in higher education. Mark has responsibility for strategic oversight of Massey University’s Distance Education portfolio which includes around 17, 000 distance learners. Massey is dual mode university with over 50 years’ experience as a major distance education provider with three campuses and approximately 34,000 students.

This presentation argues that new educational technologies can help to create a vibrant digital learning ecology, but they can also be used to entrench 1950s style teaching on 21st networks. The reality is that many technology-enhanced learning initiatives reinforce traditional forms of pedagogy and educational outcomes. In many cases e-learning is nothing more than an expensive ‘add on’ to conventional models of teaching. In a similar vein the concept of blended learning does little to disrupt the old normal and is infused by a hegemonic discourse of education in change. Arguably, the fundamental elements of teaching have remained largely intact despite dramatic changes in other service industries. The inconvenient truth is that the additive or ‘dump, dump, pump’ model of e-learning is the norm.

This critical perspective raises the question of what to do about the quality challenge. While the concept of quality is inherently contestable and context and discipline bound, the position is taken that institutions have a choice of whether to focus on quality assurance or quality enhancement. The presentation explores different approaches and strategies designed to build a quality culture rather than one of compliance. A number of quality enhancement tools and frameworks are described to support this mission and the experience of Massey University is described as a case study of how to build distributed leadership and responsibility for quality within the academic heartland. Finally the presentation reflects on the changing face of higher education and the challenges confronting higher education in uncertain times.

When: Friday 19 April 2013 from 10.30 to 12.00 ( time of presentation  is about 45 minutes followed by open floor discussion over coffee and tea).

Where: Aston University, Room MB186

This event is free of charge but registration is needed for catering purposes. Please e-mail Zara Kendrick  to book  a place. As we only have 30 places available for this talk, priority will be given to people registered by Friday 5 April 2013.  The session will be recorded and will become available  on CLIPP’s Blog as well as on the Global Dimensions in Higher Education Website.

We look forward to welcoming you at Aston for this event.

One Response to “The Quality Challenge: An Inconvenient Truth About e-Learning”

  1. Maths Olympiad  on April 9th, 2013

    good information to all students about e-learning