Previous quality projects around e-learning

Dream Team (a learning circle in International teacher education 2013-12014 in Teacher Education College in Jyväskylä) is an international group of students studying to achieve the qualification of a vocational teacher.

Arja Kunnela
International Group 13 – 14
Teacher Education College
JAMK University of Applied Sciences

1. VOPLA project (Verkko-opetuksen laadunhallinta ja laatupalvelu

E-learning quality was looked as fitness for purpose and as transformation. E-learning quality has to begin from the needs of the e-learning providers to offer the best quality teaching and learning to the students. The quality of e-learning must be linked with the quality of teaching and learning in general.

As a result of the project a quality handbook both in Finnish and in English were created and tools to evaluate e-learning. The Quality Manual was developed on the basis of the most common quality management systems (ISO, BSC, EFQM and TQM). However, it does not rely totally on any of the standardized systems. Similar aspects from all of the abovementioned quality management systems were taken and applied to the higher education and e-learning contexts. The project aimed to concretize the aspects of quality management, and give guidelines and tools for everyday improvement of quality in e-learning.

Quality Handbooks

4 ArjaThere are four quality handbooks in the Quality Manual: Handbook of Online Courses, Handbook of Online Resources, Handbook of Online Support, Handbook of Learning Organization (see fig. 1). They all contain five aspects and three phases of e-learning quality management. The five aspects are: management, skills, resources, processes and evaluation. And the three phases are: describing the present state of e-learning, building up quality, and maintaining and developing.

Fig. 1: VOPLA project’s quality development cycle


2. Sectors of high qualified teacher’s online tutoring as a quality cube

3 ArjaFinnish Online UAS has just recently (spring 2014) published their new quality “cubes” for teacher and student, tools to evaluate e-learning and tutoring online. Materials are in Finnish:

Opettajan laadukkaan verkko-ohjauksen tekijät laatukuutiona (= Sectors of high qualified teacher’s online tutoring as a quality cube)

Idea about quality cube was created in quality network, which is a group of specialists from Universities and Universities of Applied Sciences in Finland. Quality cubes were published in ITK 2014.

Parts of high qualified online tutoring of a teacher are presented as sides of the cube. Each part contains a check list to evaluate the quality of social e-learning. Quality is evaluated through the life span of the online course. Life span includes planning, productisation, marketing/selling, implementing, evaluation and development of the course.

3. High education quality criteria and evaluation tools for learning materials

Finnish Online UAS offers in English also some previous tools and links to evaluation materials in their site. The Finnish Online University of Applied Sciences (FOUAS) and the Finnish Virtual University (running until the end of 2010), joined their forces and produced a set of quality criteria and a tool for evaluating web-based learning materials. The quality criteria are designed for evaluating and improving the text-based study and instruction materials in the first place.

Quality Criteria for Materials at the Portals of Virtual Institutions of Higher Education define the characteristics of well-designed and pedagogically adequate web-based learning materials. The criteria include four fields in evaluation: use, contents, production and utility. The evaluation tool can also be helpful at the design stage to support and guide the development of online learning materials.

The criteria aim to ensure the communicative clarity, technical function and good accessibility of web-learning materials. High-standard materials must fill also the legislative requirements. The security of web-learning materials is also an integral part of the quality criteria.

4. IMS Global Learning Consortium (Learning Tools Interoperability™)

Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) ® is a specification developed by IMS Global Learning Consortium. The principal concept of LTI is to establish a standard way of integrating rich learning applications (often remotely hosted and provided through third-party services) with platforms like learning management systems, portals, or other educational environments. In LTI these learning applications are called Tools (delivered by Tool providers) and the LMS, or platforms, are called Tool Consumers. List of Tools that are certified by IMS Global is available on site.

The online validation tool for validating individual items or tests against the various profiles is made freely available for community use.  What does that mean for a user?  The basic use case behind the development of the LTI specification is to allow the seamless connection of web-based, externally hosted applications and content, or Tools (from simple communication applications like chat, to domain-specific learning environments for complex subjects like math or science) to platforms that present them to users. It means that if you have an interactive assessment application or virtual chemistry lab, it can be securely connected to an educational platform in a standard way without having to develop and maintain custom integrations for each platform. Tutorial and basic concepts are available on site.


Arja Kunnela
Information specialist
JAMK University of Applied Sciences



IMS Global Learning Consortium accessed 27.9.2014.

Quality in the services and products of the Finnish Online UAS. Accessed 27.9.2014.

VOPLA-laatukäsikirja 2006. Accessed 27.9.2014