How can self-evaluation help to enhance user generated content in HE?

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Key issues & challenges

  • User generated content in HE
  • Self-evaluation as a quality assessment approach
  • Comparing & confronting CONCEDE & SEVAQ+ approaches
  • Attitudes to both UGC and quality assessment in HE

User generated content in HE

“User generated content poses a number of challenges to the current understanding of education and its institutions. Such challenges are very much due to its success and the quantity of UGC in comparison to content elaborated by experts. There are evident implications in terms of opening up the "ivory tower" of education to the wider world. Hierarchies and the concept of "authority" are questioned. In addition to that, the rapidly growing number of learning materials and repositories generated by users makes the issue of quality a pressing one”

Kretschmer, T. (2011) ‘Improving the quality of user-generated content in higher education’ in EDULEARN11 Proceedings

Self-evaluation as a quality approach

“Self-evaluation is part of the internal quality assurance, the process of reviewing the quality of one’s own performance and provision. According to the EFQM definition, self-evaluation or self-assessment refers to a comprehensive, systematic and regular review of an organisation's activities and results referenced against the EFQM model. The self-assessment process allows the organisation to discern clearly its strengths and areas in which improvements can be made and culminates in planned improvement actions which are then monitored for progress.

The evaluation is taking place organisation-internally which means that the designers of the evaluation and the evaluands (participants of the evaluation) are belonging to the same organisation. In the case of SEVAQ+ project the evaluation is concerning the knowledge and learning processes of an organisation which are based on ICT enhanced learning environments”.

Ehlers, U.-D., Helmstedt, C. (2010) ‘Working Paper for SEVAQ+ Project’

Comparing & confronting the CONCEDE & SEVAQ+ approaches

The CONCEDE (Content creation excellence through dialogue in education) project has developed a three-layered quality framework with the following layers:

1. A first level of quality assurance is based on users' comments, reviews and ratings in relation to a learning experience taking place within one HE institution;

2. A second layer of quality assurance is based on institutional quality procedures undertaken by universities;

3. The third layer consists of dialogue and negotiations between the representatives of these two levels of quality assurance (i.e. teachers and learners) in order to reach a consensus which determines a synthesis of both layers described above.

SEVAQ+, with its structured tool for designing sound self-evaluation questionnaires, could be used in all three layers.

  • In layer 1, the tool and approach could be used as a way of raising awareness about quality criteria among users. Furthermore, by building on the concepts of shared, collective and self-evaluation, the producers of content could also be the designers of the questionnaire which they wish to be used to assess their content, or could do so in collaboration with their teachers.
  • In layer 2 the application of SEVAQ+ is more evident, as long as it is integrated into the institution’s own quality procedures.
  • In layer 3 SEVAQ+ and the results produced by SEVAQ+ questionnaires could be used as a tool to support the dialogue between the teachers and learners.

Session programme

Part 1: Introduction and key concepts (30')

Introduction of speakers & facilitators

Key concepts:

  • User Generated Content (UGC) in Higher Education (HE)
  • What do we mean by self-evaluation of quality / shared or collective evaluation

- Who evaluates & how?

- Brief introduction to SEVAQ+ approach

  • Audience’s experience in UGC in HE / quality assessment: quick poll

Part 2: Hands on (30’)

  • Example(s) of UGC in HE

- Context in which it was produced (course, by whom, teacher’s role)
- Learning objectives

  • Evaluating the sample UGC with a SEVAQ+ questionnaire
  • Analysing the results of the SEVAQ+ evaluation

Part 3: Discussion and conclusions (30')

  • Relevance of self-evaluation for UGC in HE
  • Relevance of SEVAQ+ as a tool for such self-evaluation -> adaptations required?
  • Possible barriers: attitudes to both UGC and quality assessment in HE
  • How self-evaluation fits the 3-layer process in CONCEDE.
  • How can self-evaluation help to enhance UGC in HE?