Home > QAHE Insights > Assuring Quality in E-Learning Course Design

Assuring Quality in E-Learning Course Design

The document titled "Assuring Quality in E-Learning Course Design: The Roadmap" discusses the concept of quality assurance in higher education, specifically in the context of e-learning and distance education. The author emphasizes the need for clear definitions and actions related to quality in order to guide research and policy-making in the field. The study presents a meta-analysis of existing research on quality in e-learning, including definitions, approaches, and standards. The goal is to create a roadmap for quality in e-learning that can support future activities and improve effectiveness in the field. The document also explores different perspectives and dimensions of quality, highlighting the importance of considering context and diverse criteria. The research approach involved an extensive literature review in multiple languages, focusing on indexed and peer-reviewed sources.

Over the past few decades, there have been significant transformations in the field of higher education, particularly in relation to e-learning and distance education. These changes have prompted a reevaluation of the concept of quality and its operational definitions within the context of higher education. This reassessment is driven by the aim to enhance effectiveness, align with societal demands, and address issues of competitiveness and accountability. Quality in education is no longer confined to economic considerations but has become a subject of extensive analysis and discourse among professionals involved in policy-making.

Research Objective and Approach:
The main objective of this study is to develop a comprehensive roadmap for ensuring quality in e-learning within the higher education sector. The roadmap aims to provide a framework for future endeavors in this field and meet the current needs of the scientific community. To achieve this, a meta-analysis approach was employed, involving a qualitative review of previous research conducted in indexed and peer-reviewed journals, government reports, web pages, and books. The analysis encompassed concepts, definitions, and approaches related to quality in e-learning. The review process focused on recent and relevant literature, given the rapid evolution of the field.

Conceptualizing Quality in Higher Education:
The pursuit of excellence has been the cornerstone of universities, but recent developments have underscored the need to reexamine and distill the notion of quality in a functional manner. The term "quality" is multifaceted and lacks a universally accepted definition, often leading to ambiguity and a lack of consensus. The concept of quality in education goes beyond commercial parameters and is intertwined with intuition. Different theories and approaches exist, all based on diverse assumptions. Quality is viewed as a multidimensional concept, encompassing various features that collectively represent a person, system, process, or product. It is not synonymous with perfection but rather involves the measurement of criteria and standards to ensure satisfaction. The understanding of quality varies depending on individual perspectives and contexts.

Key Findings and Roadmap Development:
The meta-analysis of literature, conducted in multiple languages, revealed key insights into quality in e-learning. The identified themes and definitions were used to develop a comprehensive roadmap that can guide future research and inform policy-making in the field. The roadmap addresses topics such as e-learning quality, quality assurance in e-learning, quality standards in online and distance education, quality assurance in higher education, e-learning course design standards, and the conceptualization of quality. Its purpose is to provide a foundation for continuous improvement and effectiveness in e-learning practices.

The document highlights the importance of assuring quality in e-learning course design within higher education. It emphasizes the need for clear definitions, comprehensive frameworks, and ongoing research to support policy-making and meet the evolving demands of the field. By creating a roadmap based on a thorough meta-analysis, this study contributes to the advancement of quality assurance in e-learning and supports the overall enhancement of educational experiences in the digital age.


Vlachopoulos, D. (2016). Assuring Quality in E-Learning Course Design: The Roadmap.

Sangrà, A., Vlachopoulos, D., & Cabrera, N. (2012). Building an inclusive definition of e-learning: An approach to the conceptual framework. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 13(2), 145-159.

Annis, C., Abdullah, F., & Islam, S. (2014). Quality assurance in higher education: A literature review. Quality Assurance in Education, 22(3), 250-269.

Dagles, J. (2008). Quality in distance education: Focus on on-line learning. Quality Assurance in Education, 16(1), 19-32.

Thanks for your kind attention.