Distance learning has been an alternative mode of delivery of both formal and non-formal education.since the middle of the 19th century. Since then it has changed significantly and it is now becoming increasingly becoming popular among adult learners. The massification of distance learning, mainly through e-learning, has significant implications on defining, evaluating, improving and maintaining quality. In many ways, distance learning programs of study differ from conventional programs. The worth of the educational experience of students or learners relies heavily on the efficiency of technical, pastoral and academic support students receive. In addition, Issues that arise from the transnational or cross border provision of educational programs also create specific challenges in the pursue of quality.

The course will commence with providing students with a concise historical review of Distance Learning and proceed with the mapping of contemporary forms of Distance Learning. The course will also address the issue of defining quality in contemporary Distance Learning and specific indicators that evaluate it within an educational institution. Quality in teaching will also be in the core of the course, while ways to achieve quality in assessment in Distance Learning will also be addressed. Furthermore, several international and regional standards and benchmarks for quality in Distance Learning will be carefully examined, in parallel to external quality assurance and accreditation procedures. Finally, differences between formal and non-formal education, as far as quality assurance is concerned, will be also investigated.


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