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Analyzing the Quality in the Design of Education of I~~ternational Virtual Graduate Programs: A New Model of Evaluation

, World Bank, Washington DC, USA, United States

Indian Journal of Open Learning Volume 9, Number 2, ISSN 0971-2690 Publisher: Indira Gandhi National Open University


This study presents a Model to explore the design of international virtual graduate programs, grounded in the theory of distance education. Through this Model, large volumes of information contained in the virtual programs can be analyzed and reduced to a set of principles. In addition, the results can be mapped in a visual display showing how the content is related to key categories of distance education. As reported in literature, institutional experience in distance education has demonstrated that the design of education is one of the most critical factors for determining the quality of a program. Undoubtedly, design is not the sole factor to determine the achievement of quality; quality also depends on the functional relationships established among good teachers, motivated learners, institutional support to faculty and students, appropriate selection of contents, and the adequate use of technology. Still, the importance of focusing on design remains because it is in the design that all these complex interconnections become visible and accountable, particularly if the delivery mode is computer-mediatedcommunication. In an attempt to validate the Model, it was tested in 2 Master's Programs of 2 virtual universities, chosen according to the following criteria: being complete graduate programs, based in the United States, fully accredited, from different fields of study, and with admission policies enrolling students from all over the world, These cases were the Master's Program Educational Change and Technology Innovation (ECTI) from Walden University: a virtual, non-campus institution and the Masters in Media Studies of DIAL (Distance Instruction for the Adult Learner): the dual-mode institution called the New School of Social Research. The method used was qualitative. The graphic representation of principles and results was based in Social Cartography. The results provide initial evidence suggesting that this new instrument can be useful to hssess the quality of educational design in distance education. Should it gain acceptance among designers of virtual education, the Model will reduce the tension created by assessment techniques that attribute the responsibility for effectiveness solely to teachers and learners. The benefit derived from this model is an increased awareness of the importance of the design procedures to achieve institutional aims in a global environment.


Gayol, Y. (2000). Analyzing the Quality in the Design of Education of I~~ternational Virtual Graduate Programs: A New Model of Evaluation. Indian Journal of Open Learning, 9(2), 237-250. Indira Gandhi National Open University. Retrieved April 11, 2021 from .