As part of EFQUEL’s continued roll-out of the new UNIQUe criteria, the new UNIQUe website has been launched to provide information on the criteria and certification process.The website currently contains all information necessary for potential applicants to assess their interest and suitability for the process.
This article was originally published on the online journal Revista Educacion Virtual.
Las universidades tratan de ampliar sus fronteras en todo el mundo gracias a los MOOC. Sin embargo, aunque todo el mundo se está haciendo preguntas como ¿Cuáles son las ventajas y desventajas de los MOOC? ¿Como podemos hacer frente a las certificaciones? ¿Cómo podemos sacar un rendimiento monetario a este tipo de cursos?, etc. Lo más importante es conocer por qué surge este nuevo modelo de educación y cuáles son los resultados tras este tsunami inicial.
The first course for auditors on the requirements of the new Portuguese standard “Vocational training management system, including technology-enhanced learning" (NP 4512:2012). The sessions took place on November 29th and 30th on the premises of the Portuguese Institute for Quality (IPQ) in Caparica, Portugal.
The Q-Cert-VET, which develops a new quality standard and supports a related certification scheme for the vocational education and training (VET) sector in Portugal. consortium welcomed 17 experienced auditors from 8 Portuguese and international certification bodies. If you represent a certification body interested in the specifics of this new Portuguese standard, please feel free to contact the Q-Cert-VET consortium through the official website at www.edu-certification.eu/
This book presents the main outcomes of the OER test project. It provides the reader with the foundation for the development of envisaged framework, organised into the four topics: assessment methods; requirements and standards of resources; credentialisation and certification, and recognition and inter-institutional collaboration.
Through consultation with a multi-disciplinary, cross-institutional team of experts the initiative developed a set of supporting tools and guidelines for assessment, recognition and portability of credit based on OER. In particular, our team of researchers developed a proposal for a ‘learning passport’, which would act as an instrument for credit portability between institutions and would allow the description of learning using existing conventions set out by the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) and the Council of Europe model diploma supplement.
The focus this year puts assessment and e-Assessment into the context of qualifications and certification. Both formative and summative assessment inform and very often leads the learning process. A number of organisations and institutions in the UK have been at the forefront of developing and implementing learning and training that is assessed using the latest IT and ICT techniques and technologies.
The range of experiences, options and solutions in the marketplace is growing rapidly. For those selecting, implementing or using computer based assessment (in all its forms) this is challenging and the change management processes, daunting.
A broad range of learning, training and study is now assessed using technology. The scope and coverage grows each year
• The tools and techniques in the marketplace are becoming increasingly sophisticated and traditional doubts and barriers are being overcome.
• A number of large scale qualifications are using e-Assessment and considerable experience is being gained in education, training and industry.
• There is an increasing expectation by students, employees, assessors and government that the technology will be available to use in a secure, robust and fit for purpose manner.
The e-Assessment Question has become the key event for discussing all the issues surrounding the practical application of computerised testing and assessment. The impressive attendance of the last seven years and the wide range of speakers and exhibitors have shown that there is real interest from the classroom to the workplace in the use of e-Assessment.
The fundamental feature of the UNIQUe approach is to support institutions of higher education to measure how successful they are in technology-enhanced learning and to allow for continuous improvement.
The quality of both products and programmes in the field of technology-enhanced learning varies widely. The UNIQUe quality label is a unique concept of quality improvement which is theoretically sound and at the same time is meeting the expectations of practice.
Many of the existing quality initiatives in this field focus heavily, if not solely, on online instructional design. The UNIQUe approach goes above and beyond this, focusing on the use of ICT to enhance educational provision and learning support, throughout the entire breadth of activity of the Higher Education Institution. This sophisticated approach demands an applicant to meet high quality standards for programme objectives, programme structure, content, resources and learning processes.
UNIQUe accelerates quality improvement and Innovation
The UNIQUe criteria demand proof of continuous iterative innovation in all aspects of pedagogical design and course provision. In addition, they have been designed to be complimentary to the European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in Higher Education, thus allowing for quality improvement in TEL, in alignment with on-going adaptation of systems in line with the Bologna reforms.
The label focuses strongly on innovation in all its criteria. Since systemic processes of innovation are bound to enhance the use of information-technologies, the label will take note of, and evaluate, the institution’s entire innovation ecosystem.
The end result of a UNIQUe review is not just a quality certification, but also a set of recommendations to improve TEL quality at the institution in question. Since the UNIQUe certification is valid for three years, each subsequent evaluation, takes into account the recommendations from the previous meaning that an institution must continuously improve its processes and procedures to keep the certification. In addition, researchers at the European Foundation for Quality in e-Learning continuously go over the observations from audit reports, and update guidelines for peer-review teams accordingly, ensuring that reviews take the very latest state-of-the-art into account when conducting a review.
UNIQUe is the result of extensive testing and research
The UNIQUe system and criteria have been based on nearly ten years of research into quality certification of technology enhanced learning. The Certification was designed by the European Foundation for Quality in e-Learning, the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD), the MENON Network, and EUROPACE – all of whom have decades of expertise in technology enhanced learning. The UNIQUe criteria themselves are based on ten years of research and development activities which included:
- Three European Commission-funded development projects, bringing together 15 partner institutions from around Europe, looking into various aspects of quality certification of e-learning,
- A wide process of consultations with researchers, quality experts and European stakeholders
- A series of UNIQUe pilots tested the criteria and the process with ten Higher Education Institutions over two years
- The current set of criteria were further reviewed based on the feedback received by the first UNIQUe applicants, and from quality assurance agencies in Europe, as well as in Eastern Europe and the Middle-East.
UNIQUe offers a transparent and reliable certification
All the UNIQUe criteria, together with supporting descriptions and documentations are publicly available on the web for all to see. The system is divided into six distinct stages, which offer a formalised approach in each step. In addition, the final decision on certification is made by an independent awarding body, based on the recommendations of an expert peer-review team.
Institutions are publicly awarded at an annual awarding ceremony held during the EFQUEL Innovation Forum, and are given a label to publicise their achievement on their websites and promotional materials. In addition, EFQUEL regularly creates compilations of best-practice in collaboration with certified institutions, and from time-to-time invites them to share their practices in various academic fora.
The 6th EFQUEL Innovation Forum will present certification systems for higher education, discuss certification in adult education and schools, for individuals and for organisations from Europe and beyond. We would like to invite you to debate the value of certifications, to examine good practice examples of innovative ways of certification in the various educational fields and to shape a future vision of how certifications can evolve to become instruments to certify the future.
Date and location: 14-16 September 2011, Oeiras, Portugal (visit the venue page)
Pre-Conference programme and side events: read more about the CONCEDE User Generated Conference (14th of September), the General Assembly, the dinner and other side events on the pre-conference programme and side events page.
Final countdown to the EFQUEL Innovation Forum has started, register quickly through this link
For further information, donâ€™t hesitate to contact the EFQUEL secretariat: firstname.lastname@example.org
This specification is intended to cover the representation of several kinds of information, centred around individuals, who collect, create, reflect on and use their own information for learning, development, self-presentation, or related purposes. The information is typically authored, or collected, by the individuals themselves, and may cover: what they have done, made, achieved, written, or are proud of; what or who helps or has helped them; what they aspire to; what they are good at; evidence for and reflections on any of these; and perhaps input from other people.
The 6th EFQUEL Innovation Forum entitled "Certify the Future!?... Accreditation, Certification and Internationalisation" seeks to discuss certification systems for higher education, discuss certification in adult education and schools, for individuals and for organisations from Europe and beyond. We would like to invite you to debate the value of certifications, to examine good practice examples of innovative ways of certification in the various educational fields and to shape a future vision of how certifications can evolve to become instruments to certify the future.
- Wayne Mackintosh, Director of the OER Foundation & Founder of WikiEducator
- Asha Kanwar, Vice President, Commonwealth of Learning
- Yves Punie, Senior Scientist in the Information Society Unit, IPTS
- Steve Wheeler, Associate Professor of Learning Technologies at the University of Plymouth
Certify the future...?! Accreditation, Certification, and Internationalisation. Early bird registration is available until the 30th of June...
In a European education arena, mobility of students and staff, delivering programmes across borders have become reality. Internationally we can see that universities and training providers are searching for new markets often reaching out across borders to offer their programmes. Open education and open educational resources have unlocked new doors for formal and informal learning, and attempts to certify and recognize achievements through these modes of learning are intensified throughout Europe and beyond.
ICT plays a major role in enabling educational environments to travel and reach out, but also innovate and change the educational organisation, the scope and the landscapes in which it is delivered locally. In this context certification and accreditation have to be discussed anew. The influence of Europeanization and internationalisation is not just a move towards internationalising educational offerings but also towards internationalising certifications and recognition of degrees. The move towards changed educational environments through technology enhanced learning is calling for a redefinition of certification and accreditation since educational organisations are changing their fundamental nature and organisation. The move towards bringing in the concept of open educational resources and open education is challenging the traditional structure of certification for higher education and for vocational education training, schools and adult learning because it questions the delivery mechanisms and the monopoly of traditional educational organisations for knowledge transfer, and brings up the notion of universities, VET providers, adult learning centres as (mere) „certification“ service providers in the future.
Certification is based on past achievements in order to predict and ascertain future quality. But how fit are certification systems to guarantee that educational programmes and institutions are preparing learners for future challenges? Are they prepared to certify the future in this way? Have we designed approaches to certification which are comprehensive enough for a constantly changing world of educational needs and demands of labour markets? And how can we build elements of future orientation and continuous innovation into certification systems? These questions emerge around the theme of certification in a world in which qualifications demands are ever changing in emerging markets, improvisation seems to be a virtue rather than a vice, and often future job profiles do not exist when students enter their programme.
While accreditation and certification becomes increasingly important in all educational sectors, it is changing. Has it played its role as guard to make education and training failsafe in the past, we can see that certification of education and training is more and more striving to award educational organisations achievements to turn towards innovation and excellence. How will the certification look like in 2025 or even further in 2050?
The 6th EFQUEL Innovation Forum seeks to discuss these questions. It will present certification systems for higher education, discuss certification in adult education and schools, for individuals and for organisations from European and beyond. We would like to invite you to debate the value of certifications, to examine good practice examples of innovative ways of certification in the various educational fields and to shape a future vision of how certifications can evolve to become instruments to certify the future.
Date: 14th – 16th of September 2011
Location: Oeiras, Portugal
The 6th EFQUEL Innovation Forum will present European certification systems for higher education, discuss certification in adult education and schools.