Quality in education is hard work and structure

Quality in education is hard work and structure
-The student must do the learning. Tutors and others can only be helpers, either as supporter, mirror or corrective.
This is approximately how it is written in a paper on quality in education from the University of Bergen. Still the educational institutions will have to work hard to plan the study programmes and facilitate for the students to achieve the learning outcome that has been promised to them, so to speak. This is always the case, independent of the arena or the technology chosen for teaching and learning. Assuring quality in education is hard work for all the involved. It is necessary to thoroughly plan and follow up.

In Flexible Education Norway's newly translated Quality Guide the Quality Committee who has written the guide, has described various issues that independently and together can contribute to good quality in online education. The book is titled A Guide to Quality in Online Teaching and Learning. Anne Swanberg from BI Norwegian Business School and Mette Villand from The Centre for Lifelong Learning at Innland Norway University of Applied Sciences are two of the contributors to the guide. Synkron has been talking to Swanberg and Villand, who benevolently share their insight and experience with us.

Synkron: Is there a significant difference between teaching in an auditorium or classroom and teaching online? You have tried both - what is the big difference?

Swanberg: This may sound weird, but when I teach online, I feel I can get closer to the students than I do in the classroom. The asynchronous mode makes it easier to adapt teaching activities during the programme. Also, asynchronous discussions provide more time for reflection, which I think contribute to increased quality in the online discussions. In the classroom I am physically closer to the students, I can look them in the eyes, correct misunderstandings, discuss in real time, facilitate collaborative learning and sometimes maybe even create a small magical learning moment.
Villand: I hardly ever teach so I haven't got a lot of personal experience, but I have supervised teachers who are doing both. When we teach synchronously, we do it to guide and support a structured learning process online. We then organise the students in smaller groups of 5-10. The teachers report that the dialogue with the participants is good, and the participants feel that they get quality time with the teachers. Mostly we make asynchronous web-based learning materials. We work a lot with the teachers to help them find a good structure to their lectures. We guide them in how to communicate clearly and consistently. We add te
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