1.2 Research Aim and Objectives
The aim of this dissertation is to “To explore the quality assurance in e-learning and its effectiveness in terms of improving the quality of learning, and to recommend strategies for effective quality assurance in e-learning for the colleges and universities.
The objectives in order to achieve this aim are as follows:
Review the developments in quality assurance in e-learning and study the e-learning aspects of quality assurance.
To examine the quality assurance standards in e-learning and their effectiveness.
Study the effectiveness of quality assurance in an e-learning context, and identify the main challenges and the critical success factors.
Develop appropriate strategies for the implementation of effective quality assurance in e-learning.
1.3 Problem Statement
The current study aims to answer the following overall problem. Is there significant difference in the effectiveness of quality assurance in e-learning in the public and private universities in the Kingdom of Bahrain in terms of their curriculum design, course design, and course delivery?
To answer this question, the following sub-problems shall be addressed:
To what extent does effectiveness of quality assurance in e-learning occur in the higher education institutions (HEIs) in terms of curriculum design, course design, and course delivery as perceived by its faculty members, students, and stakeholders?
What are the problems or barriers encountered by the respondents on the quality assurance in e-learning?
What success factors in e-learning perceived by the respondents in the private colleges and universities?
What challenges and strategies in e-learning observed by the respondents on the implementation of the quality assurance in the university?
What possible suggestions/recommendations to improve e-learning in the colleges and universities?
1.4 Research Approach
The primary data collection will be conducted through survey questionnaires and unstructured interviews however, the secondary data collection through extensive literature review taken from books, journals, magazines, and other related reading materials in e-learning. The data collected from both the sources will be integrated and then analysed. Qualitative analysis will be used for the data being collected from both the approaches. However, quantitative analysis will be done by the researcher after collecting the data for analysis and interpretation to know the findings of the study on the quality assurance in e-learning hence, fulfilling the aim of this research.
Moreover, the Primary Data Collection will be taken from the Survey Questionnaires and informal (unstructured) Interviews from the respondents of the selected colleges and universities in the Kingdom of Bahrain. However, the Secondary Data Collection will be taken from the literature review such as books, journals, magazines, internet links, and other related readings on e-learning aspects.
After the data is being collected from the primary and secondary sources, the Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis Approach will be used to analyse the research data. The analysis will be done after the retrieval of the survey questionnaire. However, the data will be analysed and interpreted using textual or tabular presentation based on the results of the statistical analysis. Hence, in the interpretation of data implications is needed and also supported with related literature or studies to strengthen the analysis and interpretation of data which are significant to the findings of the study.
1.5 Outline of the Dissertation
Chapter 1: Introduction and Background. The purpose of this chapter is to introduce the problem on the effectiveness of the quality assurance in e-learning, its challenges and strategies. It also presents the rationale behind the decision of pursuing this research, based on the observations made by the researcher and other authors. It concludes with the delineation of the approach adopted in the structuring of the thesis.
Chapter 2: Review of Related Literature. The purpose of this chapter is to present and examine thoroughly the existing literature in the area of the quality assurance of higher education institutions; e-learning quality assurance; and e-learning success factors; and other related studies on e-learning aspects. Also, a theoretical research model has been proposed and research hypotheses have been developed.
Chapter 3: Research Methodology. The purpose of this chapter is to presents the research design and methodology of the study. It also includes the respondents of the study, validation of research instrument, data collection method, and data analysis.
Chapter 4: Data Analysis and Findings. The purpose of this chapter is to present the analysis and interpretation of the data, and also the discussion on the effectiveness of the quality assurance in e-learning, problems/barriers encountered, success factors, and quality assurance challenges and strategies. However, the descriptive-survey approach will be employed in this study. However, tabular and textual form will be used in presenting the data analysis.
Chapter 5: Summary, Conclusions, and Recommendations. This chapter is a summary of the whole thesis. It provides an assessment of the importance of the research done and it is an outline of possible future research strands.
This chapter provides an introduction to the dissertation along with brief discussion of the background on the concept of e-learning in the Kingdom of Bahrain particularly in the HEIs – Higher Education Institutions. It also presented the Aim and Objectives and briefly discusses the area of research, literature reviews and provides rationale for conducting this study. The research aim and objectives are made clear and the research approach is presented.