Quality assurance

The Distance Learning Forum has developed a Quality Framework for Distance Learning Programmes.

This is also available as a PDF and a DOCX.

The framework has been designed for use by distance learning programme teams, with a view to helping teams to monitor the management and delivery of their programme during the period after initial approval. The guide will also be of value to staff who are considering the development of a new distance learning programme, helping to inform the planning and scoping tasks for the programme in preparation for the approval process.

The resource offers guidance to distance learning programme leaders in the following areas:

  • Programme review cycle: addressing routine procedures for monitoring the performance of a distance learning programme, with attention to timescales (key milestones) and suggested levels of scrutiny;
  • Dimensions of quality: themes and standards for quality management with suggested evaluation methods which a programme team can adopt;
  • Key documentation: a summary checklist of policies, plans and guidance resources which a programme should develop and maintain.
  • Key reference documentation: guidance documentation that a programme team should refer to in developing its own processes.

The Distance Learning Forum has also developed Principles for the management and oversight of DL programmes (PDF , 314kb).  The purpose of the document is to provide some brief, high level guidance for departmental senior management teams/key departmental personnel who have responsibility for the management and oversight of existing distance learning programmes, although it will also be of interest to distance learning programme teams and those considering the development of a distance learning programme.

Monitoring and review

Distance learning programmes are monitored through the Annual Programme Review, Periodic Review and the Three-Year Visit (which provides an opportunity for a detailed review of a distance learning programme, with the inclusion of a panel member with experience of distance learning).

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