For many further education and training (FET) programmes and higher education (HE) programmes, government restrictions have required a pivot to a blended learning delivery mode.
When considering Quality Assurance (QA) factors regarded blended learning programme delivery, it may be useful for providers to review QQI's Statutory Quality Assurance Guidelines for Providers of Blended Learning Programmes which supplement and are an addition to the Statutory Quality Assurance Guidelines or core Quality Assurance guidelines, as they are more commonly known. The interpretation and implementation of quality assurance guidelines is set out in the Policy on Quality Assurance here.
Blended Learning Seminar Series
To support colleagues working in a QA or academic management role in FET and HE, QQI has designed a series of blended learning themed seminars featuring advice from experienced national and international experts on how to implement successful blended delivery from a quality assurance perspective.
As the first in a series, QQI hosted a short seminar entitled Blended Learning, QA and Academic Management on Friday 18 September 2020 to help set the agenda for the remainder of the seminars.
Highlights of the event included:
QQI will develop topics for future events based on the responses from the poll. Suggested topics in order of priority include: Student Engagement, Adapting Assessment Types, Student Involvement in QA and Programme Validation. Student Engagement/Motivation and Assessment were also identified as key challenges by participants during the event.
QQI Blended Learning Seminar II: Assessment in a Blended Learning Environment Wednesday, 4 November 2020 12.30-13:50
The second event in the QQI Blended Learning Seminar Series ‘Assessment in a Blended Learning Environment from the humanities perspective’ took place on Wednesday 4th November 2020. Dr Mary Kelly and Ms Aisling Reast from Hibernia College and Dr Melanie Ní Dhuinn from Trinity College Dublin presented at the seminar, which was chaired by Dr Peter Cullen, QQI.
The presentations included:
•‘Overview of Assessment in a Blended Learning Environment’ presented by Dr. Mary Kelly, Head of the School of Education at Hibernia College. Dr Kelly provided an introduction to some key principles in designing authentic online assessments which support teaching and learning in a blended environment. This presentation also looked at how institutions have had to reconceptualise how we assess students in a meaningful way, meeting the learning outcomes, ensuring that we can validate the progression of students and the awarding of credits. Link here •‘Online Assessment Quality Assurance – a case study’ during which Ms Aisling Reast, Registrar at Hibernia College, discussed quality assurance processes underpinning assessment at Hibernia College and, in particular, how the College adjusted the operation of one particular assessment, once it became clear that modifications were required due to the public health restrictions in place this year. Link here •‘Reimagining the teaching, learning and assessment spaces in Initial Teacher Education (ITE) through a COVID prism, with a specific focus on the School Placement modules ‘ presented by Dr Melanie Ni Dhuinn, Assistant Professor (Education) at Trinity College Dublin. The final presentation of the seminar looked at how one ITE programme has reinvented the overall experience of the School Placement modules using a blended learning approach that overturns and topples the traditional tables and assessment approaches. Link here A number of questions were raised during the seminar and links shared, all of which are available here A recording of this seminar can be viewed here