Saudi Electronic University (SAUDI ARABIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2014 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Pages: 2207-2213
ISBN: 978-84-617-2484-0
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 17-19 November, 2014
Location: Seville, Spain
E-Learning has become widely acceptable as a valid and efficient form of learning all over the World. One of the greatest challenges for e-learning programs is the assurance of the quality of such programs. Several organizations and researchers have sought to develop standards that can be used to determine if e-learning programs are of acceptable quality or otherwise. In some cases the standards are created as guidelines that universities can use for a self-measure of their own programs. In other cases, some organizations have created standards and went a step ahead in providing paid services for measuring and accrediting online programs that meet those standards.

In this paper we will compare the quality & accreditation standards of online programs created by the European Foundation for Quality in E-Learning and those of the preliminary defined standards of the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Higher Education’s (MOHE) standards for accrediting e-learning programs. The governmental organization, which is an offspring of the MOHE, in charge of accrediting higher education programs in general is called the National Commission for Academic Accreditation and Assessment (NCAAA).

The EFQUEL certification for programs is called ECB-Check. It’s quality certification criteria is divided into seven main areas. These areas are concerned with: 1) Information and Organization of the Program, 2) Target Audience Orientation, 3) Quality of Contents, 4) Program Design, 5) Media Design, 6) Technology, Equipment, and Infrastructure, and, 7) Evaluation and Review. Only the first and fourth areas are divided into sub-areas. ECB-Check provides an evaluation measurement that can help determine if each area is met minimally or with excellence.

The MOHE standards are divided into six main standards with each standard divided into several sub-standards. The sub-standards have two categories, one for attaining temporary certification, while the other for attaining final certification. The six main standards of the MOHE are related to: 1) Mission and Objectives, 2) Program Administration, 3) Learning and Teaching, 4) Students Affairs and Supporting Services , 5) Learning Resources, and 6) Facilities.

The completed study will provide greater details about the main similarities and differences between these two standards of accreditation.
Quality, Standards, EFQUEL, Saudi Arabia, MOHE, Accreditation.