– E-learning and digital skills are an increasing in demand in the community. This is a way to give our students an added value, and then it is important to evaluate ourselves with this specific focus, says Maria Larsson Lund, assistant professor and program director of occupational therapy program.
Excellency fonds was obtained by the university in the autumn of 2014 to conduct a self-assessment and evaluation with a focus on e-learning according to the European Association of Distance Teaching Universities, EADTU E-xcellence quality model.
The cause of the evaluation is to respond to future needs in the community and take advantage of the possibilities of e-learning in education to develop students' digital skills.
– The frequent use of technologies for e-learning used in distance education strengthens students' skills and readiness to use various types of technology in their future profession, both in the direct work with clients and the exchange of information, says Maria Larsson Lund.
Develop the organization
The evaluation was conducted through self-assessment under the direction of the external international quality reviewers Ebba Ossian Nilsson, Project Manager at Lund University and vice chairman of the Swedish National Organization for distance learning.
Six focus groups were identified, three were directly related to occupational therapy program, such as the teachers in Occupational Therapy, students and representatives of the supporting elements of the program. The other three focus groups were responsible for university-wide issues. All focus groups valued areas of the quality of education based on international criteria.
– These quality criteria allows us to learn how our organization works and can be developed to enhance the quality of e-learning, says Maria Larsson Lund.
The results showed that the areas that teachers themselves were responsible was highly valued, likewise the students were very satisfied with the quality of e-learning in the education. In contrast, areas where responsibility lay centrally there was a need for development
– It's nice to get confirmation that the education is of very high quality even from an e-learning perspective. The evaluation has provided input to how we can improve the quality further, says Maria Larsson Lund.
Strategy for the entire university
During the evaluation Ebba Ossiannilsson found an incredible commitment from the groups and a strong desire to advance towards international standards. She believes that it is important to have the management included to implement changes, and that Luleå University of Technology, one of the focus groups, now want to examine their own organization and develop. Several areas were through self-evaluation obvious and that an integrated approach may be needed.
– It is clear that the university generally want to develop their e-learning. The initiative came from the occupational therapy program and it is to their credit that an e-learning committee is added to develop a strategy for the whole Luleå University of Technology, says Ebba Ossiannilsson.