Quality enhancement for e-learning courses: The role of student feedback

Magdalena Jara, Harvey Mellar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)709-714
Number of pages6
JournalComputers and Education
Issue number3
Early online date23 Oct 2009
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010


  • Distance education and telelearning
  • Evaluation methodologies
  • Post-secondary education


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