About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2338-2339
Publication year: 2011
ISBN: 978-84-614-7423-3
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2011
Location: Valencia, Spain

A QUALITY FRAMEWORK FOR THE INTRODUCTION OF USER GENERATED CONTENT IN HIGHER EDUCATION

T. Kretschmer

Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (GERMANY)
The "explosion" of the amount of user generated content (UGC) takes place at such a magnitude and extent that - in analogy to the division of learning into formal, non-formal and informal - the term UGC was defined to describe the phenomenon and to draw a line between UGC and content created by professionals/experts in a professional environment.

Although the term UGC and its exact borders are subject to controversial discussion, some traits and/or characteristics of UGC can be identified:

- Publication and sharing: be it on a publicly accessible website, a collaborative project work, or on a page on a social networking site accessible to a select group of people;
- Creative effort: UGC often also has a collaborative element to it, as is the case of websites which users can edit collaboratively. Yet the minimum amount of creative effort is hard to define and depends on the context;
- Creation outside professional contexts: but with the possibility to feed the content back into organisational settings. It often does not have an institutional or a commercial market context. Motivating factors include: connecting with peers, achieving a certain level of fame, notoriety, or prestige, and the desire to express oneself.

User generated content poses a number of challenges to the current understanding of education and its institutions. Such challenges are very much due to its success and the quantity of UGC in comparison to content elaborated by experts. There are evident implications in terms of opening up the "ivory tower" of education to the wider world. Hierarchies and the concept of "authority" are questioned. In addition to that, the rapidly growing number of learning materials and repositories generated by users makes the issue of quality a pressing one.

The very notion of quality, which is inherent to both peer-reviewed published research and to the assessment of students, changes. "Whereas quality has traditionally been the realm of a small number of experts increasingly we find that hordes of non-experts are able to produce equal or even superior works. Wikipedia is a great example in which a self-selected community of amateurs produces an encyclopaedia that is as accurate as the work of paid experts who contribute to the Encyclopaedia Britannica".

In a scenario of global competition among higher education providers, enhancing quality of user generated content and ultimately fostering its acceptance and diffusion into teaching and learning practice is fundamental for universities in their modernisation agenda and might provide them with a competitive advantage.

Thus, the CONCEDE project developed a three-layered quality framework with the following layers:
- A first level of quality assurance is based on users' comments, reviews and ratings in relation to a learning experience taking place within one HE institution;
- A second layer of quality assurance is based on institutional quality procedures undertaken by universities;
- The third layer consists of dialogue and negotiations between the representatives of these two levels of quality assurance (i.e. teachers and learners) in order to reach a consensus which determines a synthesis of both layers described above.

The presentation will focus on the results of the piloting activities in several European universities where the quality framework was implemented and - as far as possible - assessed.
@InProceedings{KRETSCHMER2011AQU,
author = {Kretschmer, T.},
title = {A QUALITY FRAMEWORK FOR THE INTRODUCTION OF USER GENERATED CONTENT IN HIGHER EDUCATION},
series = {5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2011 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-614-7423-3},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {7-9 March, 2011},
year = {2011},
pages = {2338-2339}}
TY - CONF
AU - T. Kretschmer
TI - A QUALITY FRAMEWORK FOR THE INTRODUCTION OF USER GENERATED CONTENT IN HIGHER EDUCATION
SN - 978-84-614-7423-3/2340-1079
PY - 2011
Y1 - 7-9 March, 2011
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2011 Proceedings
SP - 2338
EP - 2339
ER -
T. Kretschmer (2011) A QUALITY FRAMEWORK FOR THE INTRODUCTION OF USER GENERATED CONTENT IN HIGHER EDUCATION, INTED2011 Proceedings, pp. 2338-2339.
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