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Assurance of higher education standards in disaggregated models of student participation and course delivery
Ewan, Christine

PublishedOctober 2015
ConferenceTransforming higher education in the 21st century; Innovating pathways to learning and continuous professional education, Online, Open and Flexible Higher Education Conference
Pages 140-155
CountryAustralia, Oceania

Approaches to quality assurance and cross-national comparability of higher education in traditional modes of delivery, including online and transnational, are well established but an emerging and complicating issue relates to disaggregation or “unbundling” of aspects of higher education. This trend is gathering momentum globally with the emergence of microcredentialling, MOOCs, and ‘mix and match’ qualifications built on open education resources. For example, some institutions are beginning to explore ways in which content delivery, assessment and credentialing, while still linked in a design sense, could be carried out by different organisations or institutions. Technology offers tools that bring ‘disruptive change’ within feasible reach. A number of drivers combine to make such an approach a potentially attractive business model and, for some institutions, it offers potential for realising aspects of their mission more effectively than by traditional on or off campus delivery. For national and international policies built around qualifications frameworks and standards frameworks the potential also exists for disruption of traditional concepts of the meaning of a higher degree qualification. For example, how can the coherence and integrity of learning outcomes be assured in programs of study that consist of elements aggregated from an eclectic range of learning experiences? This paper proposes a development agenda for extending the capacity of qualifications frameworks to deal with an open and ‘unbundled’ learning environment. It is based on work commissioned by the Australian Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT) for the Australian Higher Education Standards Panel.

Keywords micro-credentialling · MOOCs · open education. · qualifications frameworks · ‘unbundling’

Published atHagen, Germany
RightsCopyright © 2016 European Association of Distance Teaching Universities and the authors. All rights reserved.
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