From Researching Virtual Initiatives in Education
The Association of Academic E-learning (AAE) (Stowarzyszenie E-learningu Akademickiego, SEA) aims at promoting and developing e-learning in academic education. It focuses on enhancing the quality of distance teaching with the use of the latest technology, setting standards and accreditation procedures, promoting good practices as well as actively shaping the model of academic education through technology and the idea of an information society;
The association was registered in the National Court Register (KRS) in September 2006.
The goals of the association are:
- to participate in the process of raising the level of education of Polish society and the development of the idea of an information society;
- to promote and develop e-learning in academic communities, public administration and economy;
- to promote high quality education standards with the use of Information and Communication Technology;
- to participate in activities aimed at the virtualization of didactic and organizational processes in higher education;
- to support scientific and organizational cooperation between institutions involved in online teaching;
- to inspire and enhance bonds between science and economic practice.
The Association of Academic E-learning in Poland (AAE) since the beginning of its activity realizes projects which refer to high quality education with the use of ICT. In November 2006 AAE decided to begin works on quality standards and brought into existence a team, which aim was to work out the methodology of developing them. The team recommendation was to start with quality criteria and in the beginning of 2007 AAE launched a project called "Quality Criteria for Online Course".
The criteria are open and free of charge. The purpose is to give individuals and institutions, mainly in higher education, a tool for self-assessment of online courses. The tool is applicable for both the courses being in use and ones being developed. Institutions and individuals who plan to implement e-learning may use the criteria as the quality guidelines pointing out the key elements of an online course which influent good education. It is assumed that educational goals of online course are achieved, if the course meets the criteria.
It should be mentioned that the criteria are not AAE accreditation standards. It means that they are not the tool, which AAE uses for external quality assessment of the online course.
AAE criteria are designed for a single online course, which is the subject of the assessment. Online means here a 100% distance education via internet. Therefore the criteria are not applicable for courses realized in a blended model and situations where e-learning only supports face to face courses. However for given above forms of education the AAE criteria may be used as guidelines for preparation and realization of their e-learning components.
With the AAE criteria the assessment is made in four areas: course organisation, course development area, course realisation and course evaluation.
The Stowarzyszenie E-learningu Akademickiego's main office is in Warsaw, Poland.
The SEA web site is at http://www.sea.edu.pl
The Association of Academic ELearning has experts among its ranks who are both practically and theoretically involved in eLearning. Re.ViCa IAC member Prof. Wojciech Zielinski is a member of the AAE and part of the coordinating team of the Quality Criteria for Online Course.