24 participants, 9 countries, 1 digital workshop – "What Distinguishes Quality in Distance Learning?"

On 24 March 2021, FIBAA hosted a digital workshop via live stream. 24 participants from nine different countries registered for the subject “What Distinguishes Quality in Distance Learning?”. In addition to guests from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands, the organisers were also glad to welcome participants from Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Indonesia, Cyprus and Vietnam.

After the greeting to the participants by Ms Diane Freiberger, MBA, Executive Management of FIBAA, Ms Viktoria Tischanski, Head of International Processes, took over the moderation of the workshop.

Starting with a brief overview of the schedule and introducing the speakers, Ms Tischanski started with an interim report on the experience of FIBAA with the digital transformation of higher education, especially in the past year 2020.

The on-site assessment of a higher education institution is an important milestone within an accreditation process, in which intensive communication between all those involved takes place through dialogue and discussion. The rapid change from on-site assessments to purely digital assessments required a quick changeover on the part of the accreditation agencies and higher education institutions. From the point of view of FIBAA, it was very successful, but required additional personnel and technical resources, according to Ms Tischanski.

Professor Dr Ulf-Daniel Ehlers, professor at the Baden-Wuerttemberg Dual University in Karlsruhe for Educational Management and Lifelong Learning, gave a lecture on the subject “Quality in Distance and Online Learning from inspecting to quality culture”. In particular, he dealt with the necessary change in teaching from a distributive form, in which the teacher is the focus, to a collective form of knowledge collection and distribution. The challenges in quality assurance in teaching and learning are thus an essential aspect.

After a short break, the participants were able to exchange ideas in small groups and report on their own experiences. Lively discussions showed that many previous day elements are already being implemented in the higher education institutions and agencies, but there is still a need for optimisation.

Ms Antonia Lütgens, External Project Manager at FIBAA linked her lecture on “Evaluation Criteria for Distance Learning - what matters? Criteria of the new seal ‘Excellent in Digital Education’ of FIBAA” to the position of Professor Ehlers. In this context, she presented the new “Digital Seal” of FIBAA and involved the participants in the prioritisation and assessment of standards via the digital survey tool “mentimeter”.

A panel discussion with Prof. Dr Mössenlechner, Vice-Rector of MCI Innsbruck, Mag.Diane Freiberger and the speakers rounded off the event. The conclusion from this dialogue was that we must also position digital higher education in the midst of the digital society. Much is already happening, but we are only at the beginning and adapted concepts are needed to ensure the quality of teaching and learning in the future.