Review of reference models on the evaluation of quality of virtual education

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Renata Marciniak and Joaquín Gairín analyze the dimensions to define the quality of virtual education.

The improvement of the quality of university education is one of the main objectives of the actors involved in it. However, when this education is carried out through a virtual modality, it is worth asking if its quality should be assessed through the same dimensions that would be used to evaluate the quality of face-to-face education. The UNED Magazine has published an article with the authorship of Renata Marciniak and Joaquín Gairín.

One of the main problems when defining the concept of the quality of virtual education is that it presents as conflictive in terms of meanings, since there is an absence of agreement when defining it.

As a result of the controversy on how to evaluate the quality of virtual education, to date, multiple models have been developed that attempt to answer this question. In the present article, the most representative models were analyzed, focusing on the dimensions they propose to evaluate the mentioned quality.

From the analysis of the 42 dimensions proposed by 25 models, it is observed that there is no common dimension for all the quality models analysed. However, some models have equal dimensions, so the authors deduce that they can have a nucleus common and, at the same time, integrate divergent dimensions, as well as the meanings assigned to the chosen dimensions.

As a strength of the models analyzed, it is concluded that they shift attention from the evaluation of virtual education to different aspects of it as the context in which education is carried out.

However, these models have weaknesses, which make it necessary to develop a model that contributes with various components to generate a model applicable to the evaluation of quality of virtual education, integrating the common dimensions and of greater relevance.

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