The collection of student feedback is seen as a central strategy to monitor the quality and standards of teaching and learning in higher education institutions. The increasing use of technology to support face-to-face, blended and distance courses has led managers as well as practitioners to become increasingly concerned to identify appropriate ways of assuring the quality of this e-learning provision. This paper presents a study of the collection of student feedback in higher education e-learning courses and the use of this feedback for quality assurance and enhancement. We carried out a series of case studies of the procedures in place in four e-learning courses, and in each case study we collected the quality assurance documentation and interviewed stakeholders (administrators, educational technologists, tutors and students). The comparative examination of these two sets of data showed that the main strategies for collecting student feedback - module evaluations and student representation - were both strongly affected by the distinctive features of the mode of delivery in e-learning courses, and as a consequence they were not able to adequately support quality enhancement. The remote location of the students impacted on both student representation and on the response rates for module evaluations. The enhancement function of the module evaluations were adversely affected by lack of appropriate course management arising from the disaggregation of course processes and the resulting ambiguity in the allocation of responsibilities. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
- Distance education and telelearning
- Evaluation methodologies
- Post-secondary education