The ASTE conference finished today – an amazing gathering of many of the key e-educators in the tertiary sector of NZ. A key focus of the conference was to workshop and develop a set of “standards” that might be adopted by TEC and tertiary institutions in an attempt to provide some quality assurance around what is happening in eLearing at the tertiary level in NZ.
While the level of discourse was excellent, and I am optomistic about the outcome, wo things concerned me about the process…
1 – the language that was used to express what those standards might be, although well intentioned, very strongly reflected an “institution-centrted”, industrial approach to the issues. I’m hoping this will be addressed in the work that follows.
2 – I find the idea of ‘standards’ a bit of a difficulty. Technically the term is OK, but the baggage it brings with it is bound to be off putting to many staff – suggesting ideas of ‘judgment’ and ‘absolutes’. I’d prefer to see a term such as ‘guidelines’ used. An institution could then adopt the set of guidelines and develop a set of indicators or criteria that suits their particular context in order to demonstrate how they will ensure those guidelines are being followed in their institution.
I’ll be following the progress in this work with interest.