Accreditation Of Online And Distance Learning Programs

Melike Taner ULUÇAY

The quality issue emerged as a topic of concern for the goods and product market has also become a key element in services like higher education. With the rise of the mobility of students, academicians and graduates, the quality and the compatibility of education systems have recently been subject to much debate. Moreover, the huge role of higher education in a society’s economy and prosperity has added new dimensions to the measures of quality in higher education. With the quality assurance as a separate instrument in university management and in government policy, accreditation processes referring to compatibility of a higher education institution or a program with national or international performance standards started as a new quality assurance mechanism in different geographies around the World. On the other hand, the varying needs and living conditions, advancements in information technologies and internet, easy access and communication opportunities, and increased willingness to share information have given rise to a new form of education called distance learning. Online geographical information systems (GIS) program of Anadolu University is one of the distance education programs awarding an associate degree in the field. Using the GIS program as a case study, this paper analyses the eminent role of accreditation of online and distance learning programs on the transformation of quality measures in higher education. This paper also presents the detailed learning outcomes of the program and its importance for accreditation

KEYWORDS: uality in higher education, Accreditation in higher education, Online and distance learning, GIS