chapter  8
12 Pages

Quality Assurance Policies and Guidelines in European Distance and e-Learning

New demands, new markets and new opportunities offered by information and

communications technology (ICT) have all contributed to the open and distance

learning (ODL) agenda in Europe. The 1970s and 1980s saw the establishment of

such providers as the University of Hagen in Germany, Open University of the

Netherlands, National University of Distance Education and Open University of

Catalonia in Spain and Portuguese Open University. Since the early 1990s, many

more European universities have adopted this mode of delivery to raise their pro-

files, provide education more flexibly and serve new target groups and for-profit

private ODL providers have also emerged. Many conventional universities now

provide blended learning programmes on campus. The Internet enables institu-

tions to distribute courses and learning materials across national borders and Web

2.0 technologies such as wikis, blogs and social networks allow students to interact

and collaborate in learning and generate and share ideas and content. The strong

emphasis on lifelong learning in Europe only furthers the demand for e-learning.