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Assuring quality of an e-learning project through the PDCA approach

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Author(s): T.A. Walasek | Z. Kucharczyk | D. Morawska-Walasek

Journal: Archives of Materials Science and Engineering
ISSN 1897-2764

Volume: 48;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 56;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: E-learning | Computer aided teaching | Project management | B-learning | Moodle

ABSTRACT
Purpose: The aim of the paper is to present the methodology used to manage an extensive e-learning project at the Czestochowa University of Technology. Systematic and generic methodology was used to assure quality and homogeneity of the implemented on-line courses.Design/methodology/approach: The PDCA based model for managing the e-learning project has been presented. The model was successfully used to plan, describe, create, implement and evaluate 28 on-line courses. Documents designed in accordance with the Deming’s cycle were used to ensure that the courses are of high quality and fulfil the criteria of the University standards.Findings: The discussed model proved highly effective in obtaining the quality project aims. The model was created, tested and evaluated during the two-year-long project and resulted in the implementation of 28 e-learning courses in three faculties: Mechanics and Machine Building, Environmental Engineering and Computer Sciences.Research limitations/implications: Having been tested and used on a small scale, the model is currently being incorporated into the whole University. Teachers report that the process of creating the documents is highly time-consuming. Attempts are being made to make the process less demanding by, for example, creating user-friendly forms in both: Word Macros (Visual Basic) and Web Based interactive tools.Practical implications: One of the most difficult issues observed was quality assurance. It is usually obtained by review and evaluation processes carried out at least twice. The proposed methodology proved highly efficient. Although the courses are unique and individual, they are also very homogeneous and methodically uniform.Originality/value: The methodology described in the paper is based on the Crosby’s philosophy (right first time) and uses the PDCA cycle as the tool. It can be used by e-learning project managers either at educational or business enterprises.
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