SIG Presentations

Quality Assurance and Quality Enhancement in e-Learning discussion meeting – Friday 06.09.2013

This free one-day discussion meeting will explore challenges facing the sector in relation to assuring quality whilst also enabling quality enhancement and innovation through technology enhanced learning (TEL). We will be considering the rapid increase in the development of MOOCs (Massive Online open courses) and the impact of the Key Information Set (KIS) requirements on UK Higher Education Institutions.
Technologies impact on all aspects of the learning process, including teaching, assessment and communication. In light of changes in technologies and the changing role of e-learning within higher education, guidance and policies associated with quality assurance and quality enhancement of technology enhanced learning (TEL) need to be considered and reviewed.
The day will include; a discussion on the quality issues associated with MOOCs and feedback from a MOOC student; Michael Hamlyn, Director of Academic Enhancement at Staffordshire University. The afternoon will focus on the KIS requirements and will include presentations from Catherine Benfield, Head of Business Development at the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), and Moira Sutton from the International Centre for Guidance Studies (iCeGS), School of Education at the University of Derby. Catherine and Moira have been involved in the early evaluations of the KIS and will present findings from their respective reports regarding Institutional and User perspectives. The presentations will be followed by discussions about the KIS requirements which focus on face to face contact hours with little consideration of how institutions and academics use technology to guide and support students. The issues were recently highlighted by the JISC following the publication of a Student Academic Experience survey from Which? And the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI).
Actively seeking your contributions to the QAQE debate, the day will include networking opportunities and participatory sessions to explore practitioner needs.

Discussion meeting programme

Here are the presentations from the day:


Borderless Quality – Infinite Innovation – Taiwan 2012

Harvey Mellar spoke on ‘Quality assurance and quality enhancement of eLearning in the UK, and the development of the epprobate initiative’ at ‘Borderless Quality – Infinite Innovation – the International Conference on e-Learning Quality and Innovative Instruction’, Taiwan, 31 July 2012.

Slides from the presentation are available here: Harvey_Mellar_Taiwan_Presentation_2012_07_31

Photographs on Facebook at:!/

Watch the Key Information Set (KIS) webinar

A recording of the webinar on the KIS is available to watch via this link

2nd Annual Quality Assurance and Quality Enhancement in e-Learning Conference

Unsolved problems & Unknown issues Conference programme_2011

Keynote: A Quality Dialogue. From inspection to inspiration – Ingeborg Bø

Evolution of the GDL through Effective QA Processes – Sharon Korek and Catherine Rendell, University of Hertfordshire

Toolkit Case Study at Anglia Ruskin University Uwe Matthias Richter, Dr Berenice Rivera-Macias, George Evangelinos, and Dr Julian Priddle

Toolkit Case Study at University of Northampton – Rob Howe

Quality Assurance and Quality Enhancement in e-Learning Conference

2 July, 2010 – Fielder Centre, University of Hertfordshire. The QAQE in E-learning Special Interest Group held our first annual conference on Friday 2nd July at the University of Hertfordshire. On the day we welcomed delegates from across the sector including representatives from higher education institutions, academic, quality and support staff, the Higher Education Academy, the Quality Assurance Agency, JISC and Edexcel.

The programme was designed to be varied and interactive. After a welcome and introduction from Eileen Webb, SIG Chair, Maria Papaefthimiou gave a brief overview of the SIG’s work to date and put the event into context before introducing our keynote speaker, Colin Raban from the University of Derby.


As always Colin’s presentation was interesting and thought provoking. In his talk he contrasted between the enquiring culture of the learning and teaching community and the compliance culture of the quality assurance community. He questioned our definition of enhancement and suggested if enhancement is to realise its full potential we must radically rethink our approach to assurance. The more rigorous the QA procedures, the more we fall into a process he refers to as ‘Unintelligent Accountability’ where frank reporting is inhibited, becoming less truthful and more akin to public relations documents. Changing the emphasis from assurance to enhancement will require us to change the culture, and not just the systems, of our institutions. However, our ability to do this will depend on the force and direction of the sector’s “prevailing winds”. He concluded with the prediction that it is unlikely we will ever return to the days of self regulation, but there is most likely going to be more emphasis on state regulation and certainly market demands. (A copy of Colins slides are available below).

In the following session Mark Gamble from the Sig Steering Group presented the main findings and recommendations coming out of the SIG’s recent publication: ‘QAA Code of Practice Section 2: Collaborative provision and flexible and distributed learning (including e-learning) – A Commentary & Critique’. This document developed in consultation with SIG members and the wider community has been presented to the QAA, where it was well received. However, it seems unlikely that the QAA will fully address the issues of technology supported learning in the very near future, and there is likely to be more work required in this area.

Lively discussion

After Mark’s presentation Eileen Webb briefly introduced the draft toolkit being developed by the SIG Steering Group. The toolkit entitled ‘Harnessing Quality Assurance Processes to Enhance Technology Enabled Learning’ is designed as an “at a glance” framework and tools for academics and support staff to use when considering employing technology to enhance course delivery. After a brief overview delegates were asked to discuss the toolkit and feedback comments and suggestions. This led to a lively and fruitful discussion eating into the scheduled lunch hour. There were many useful comments and contributions which will be incorporated into the development work. Delegates were asked to continue this discussion outside the conference and provide further comments if possible. A copy of the draft toolkit is below, please send any comments or suggestions you may have on it to

Immediately after lunch the session was designed to engage delegates in discussion and prevent the natural impulse to slumber engendered by a wonderful lunch. Led by Dave O’Hare of the SIG Steering Group he linked together the main themes emerging from the morning’s presentations and discussions and invited delegates to discuss and identify one aspect they would take away with them and act upon. This was followed by a short group discussion and identification of suitable questions to pose to the panel in the last session.

Panel discussion

For the last hour Harvey Mellar from the Institute of Education and Ambassador of the SIG chaired a lively panel discussion. The panel consisting of Peter Findlay, Quality Assurance Agency; Derek Morrison, Higher Education Academy; Gill Ferrell, JISC and Colin Raban, University of Derby effectively summed up the issues of the day. In summary, a very lively, interactive, informative and thought provoking day.

The SIG Steering Group would like all participants for their contributions.

Introduction to the QAQE SIG – Maria Papaefthimiou

Keynote: QAQE: spitting in the wind? – Colin Raban

QAQE conference slides – Eileen Webb and Maria-Christiana Papaefthimiou

QAQE conference slides – Mark Gamble

QAQE conference slides – Dave OHare

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