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Universiteit Maastricht Standards and Distance Education Peter A. J. Bouhuijs Professor in Health Science Education
Universiteit Maastricht My Background • • Educational psychologist Ph. D in medical education 30 years in problem-based learning Currently professor in Health Science Education in South Africa
Universiteit Maastricht My experience • Course and program evaluation is part of my job • International experience in external review and quality assurance matters • Including distance education programs • I teach on line in three master programs using distance education
Universiteit Maastricht My contribution • Focus on higher and professional education • Explain what is being done already • Critical points related to the main theme of the conference: social justice • Hopefully a good start for a round table debate
Universiteit Maastricht The quality question: • Are we doing the right thing? • Are we doing things in the right way?
Universiteit Maastricht The comparison • Compared with other distance education programs and courses? • Compared with other delivery models?
Universiteit Maastricht Levels • • Course level Curriculum level Institutional level Systems level
Universiteit Maastricht The distance debate • In the 19 th century start of correspondence university programs • Considered inferior to face-to-face teaching • With each new medium used since we got a similar discussion: film, radio, TV, audio&video disks, computer • Typical for the debate is that the delivery mode is discussed
Universiteit Maastricht The distance debate • The central issue is whether students can learn using a distance format • And whether we can reach parts of the population who are not served by traditional courses and programs
Universiteit Maastricht At systems level • Blended learning is important in all programs • New technology needs a new approach to how we work in education • The control over where, when, how, and also what is learned shifts to learners
Universiteit Maastricht Accreditation in Higher Education • Around the world increased attention • The European perspective: all EU countries plus some others are implementing a QA program with a common structure • Related to program reform • Aim: a common labor market
Universiteit Maastricht The European structure • National accreditation bodies using a common framework • Institutional self-evaluation • External review by expert committee appointed by an accredited audit agency
Universiteit Maastricht The chapters: • • • Mission and objectives Curriculum structure Learning environment Student characteristics Learning results Quality of graduates Quality of staff and organization Facilities System of internal quality assurance
Universiteit Maastricht Some problems • Bureaucratic • Control rather than improvement • Experts are usually coming from the old system
Universiteit Maastricht Some problems with distance education • Definition of students • What is reasonable progress? • Are we reaching new groups?
Universiteit Maastricht Globalization • • Distance learning can be applied globally It is seen by many as a business But it is transmitting values Will the strongest voice become the global voice? • South Africa denied foreign universities access, but can it forbid distance education?
Universiteit Maastricht Some wishes for the future We need to use cognitive research seriously in education: importance of constructivism and collaborative learning We also need to study “good practices” We need to reframe our conception of education: not only students are learners, but teachers are (advanced) learners
Universiteit Maastricht Learning communities • Our curricula were built when teachers were needed to transfer knowledge • Today learners can have access to data bases, libraries, computer simulations • And they can use sophisticated communication tools to work with other learners • Let us use these tools for better education and for a better world.
Universiteit Maastricht Thank You!