Excellence Rating

Assuring eLearning Quality with epprobate

Brussels (BE), January 2012 - Today computers, tablets, and smartphones have become an everyday part of the learning process. However, this technology often fails to live up to the expectations people have for it. The lack of quality of the courseware has been one of the key reasons of this failure. Now a worldwide consortium of experts is addressing this gap by developing an international quality label for eLearning resources - the "epprobate".

Rating educational materials is a complex process since it depends on each context and also on how the resources are used. The quality of eLearning courseware pedagogy can't be objectively measured by size, length or weight.

For this reason, subjective oriented criteria play an important role and naturally shift the challenge to the evaluators themselves, their selection, and their own perspective.

"epprobate" provides an international quality label for eLearning courseware, but more importantly offers a consultative and collaborative improvement process by taking into consideration the points of view of the different stakeholders.

According to Harvey Mellar, director of "epprobate", the objective of the effort is to complement rather than to compete with the existing quality initiatives. "Many of our colleagues who are participating in 'epprobate' are already running a national quality label; however, their particular interest in coming together in here is to build an international consensus".

Starting in May 2011, the "epprobate" initiative developed its first prototypes, including the review process and the quality grid in July. Rather than using a simple formula based on numerical processing of scores on the indicators, which is the classic basis for excellence ratings, the international awarding committee will hold discussion meetings with the client, provide feedback reports, and communicate the agreed ratings on each of the indicators.

The decision to award the label will be based on a transparent process of weighting of indicators by their importance. "epprobate" has already identified national partners from 28 countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Pacific region, as well as in North and South America. The official rollout of the label will be in March 2012, to coincide with an informative and festive event in Brussels.