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Criteria and Quality Indicators for Distance Learning Programmes of Study (Number: 2)

The Agency for Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Higher Education, has decided and informs all institutions of Higher Education, the following:

All Distance Learning Programmes are expected to meet the following criteria and quality indicators:
1. Establishment of a Pedagogical Planning Unit for distance learning, which will be responsible for the support of the Distance Learning Unit and will address the requirements for study materials, interactive activities and formative assessment in accordance to international standards.
2. Stipulating feedback processes for students in relation to written assignments.
3. Specific plan to ensure student interaction with each other, with the teaching staff, and the study material.
4. Development of teacher training programmes focusing on interaction and the specificities of distance learning.
5. A complete assessment framework design, focusing on distance learning methodology, including clearly defined evaluation criteria for student assignments and the final examination.
6. Plan of a set number of expected teleconferences for presentations, discussion and question-answer sessions, guidance.
7. Development of a Study Guide for each course, fully aligned with distance learning methodology and the need for student interaction with the material. The study guide also includes, for each course week/module, the following:
7.1 Clearly defined objectives and expected learning outcomes of the programme, of the modules and activities in an organised and coherent manner
7.2 Presentation of course material, on a weekly basis, in a variety of ways and means (e.g. printed material, electronic material, teleconferencing, multimedia)
7.3 Weekly outline of set activities and exercises and clear instructions for creating posts, discussion, and feedback.
7.4 Self-assessment exercises and self-correction guide.
7.5 Bibliographic references and suggestions for further study.
7.6 Number of assignments/papers and their topics, along with instructions and additional study material
7.7 Synopsis

It is highlighted that the above criteria and indicators were established following the Agency’s announcement entitled "Quality Criteria and Indicators for Distance Learning Programmes" dated 23 September 2016 and will be taken into account by the External Evaluation Committees in addition to the following documents: