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L. Abazi-Bexheti, M. Apostolova, A. Kadriu

South East European University (MACEDONIA)
The grounds of the Internet have universal application because of its suitable access, interactive interface, low rate connectivity, media potentials, and its possibility to feature interactive environments. The application is even greater when higher education institutions consider instructional costs, student insists including an increasing population of adult learners, and competition from other higher education institutions. As a result, the number of online courses and related student enrollment has missile in recent years.

The general problem with online courses is the quality of instruction. In the run to offer online courses, some higher education institutions have created standardized measures for course development while other institutions have just pressured departments to turn their on-site courses into online courses. Even when training is provided, in many examples the focus is on the technology for delivery of the courses rather than on instructional and assessment strategies. In other cases, the courses are just a collection of materials including lecture notes and power point presentations with little teacher-student or student-student interaction and low intellectual motivation.

Since the beginning of online learning, inventive technology and pedagogy have widened entrée to higher education. Many Higher Education institutions remain concerned about the issue of quality for online educational programs, particularly compared to face-to-face delivery. Quality issues often come out as discussions on teaching effectiveness, faculty-to-student ratios, student satisfaction, and institutional resources invested in online teaching mode. The quality of online study programs is at the starting point of the attempt to attract more students to online programs and to offer them comparable if not better teaching quality than they can get in face to face programs at the universities.
A quality study program starts with the development of quality courses. This paper describes a pilot project conducted by the eLearning Center at South East European University (SEEU) to offer online study programs and to create a evaluation practice that guarantees continuous enhancement based on reliable data.
This paper focuses on the process of establishment and carrying out a quality evaluation based on a proposed framework for examining all aspects of the quality of an online course. The pilot project, its instruments, and its evaluation procedures serve as a good case study to look at the feasibility of a formal quality evaluation of online courses and how the evaluation results can be used to improve the quality of the course.