Intersection of Exemplar Accreditation Standards and Quality Matters Rubric Standards for Best Practice in Distance Education

Nancy E. Krusen, Pacific University

The process of accreditation is a systematic review through which the public may be assured that an institution provides quality education. Accrediting bodies typically address the quality of the program and institution, not course design. Distance education components may or may not be included in accreditation assessment. The paper examines the intersection of exemplar accreditation standards from the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE ®) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) and Quality MattersTM Rubric Standards (QM Standards) for best practice in distance education for occupational therapy practitioners. The comparison indicates many instances in which there is congruity addressing institutional practices and individual course requirements. The comparison also indicates gaps. The author concludes that ACOTE and QM Standards are complementary.

The intent of each accrediting organization and their respective standards is the benefit of stakeholders. Limited communication and lack of research across accrediting bodies perpetuates a fragmented system. The comparison of standards in this article suggests possibilities for complimentary cohesion without duplication. Revisions to each set of Standards have the potential to improve the quality of distance education. The author recommends additional research and collaboration between accreditation agencies and institutes of higher education to modify standards related to distance education. Future research could include five "components" of teaching: (a) instructional design, (b) instructional delivery, (c) instructional assessment, (d) content expertise, and (e) course management (Arreola, 2000 p24).

Following discussion at this poster session, participants will be able to:

  1. differentiate between accrediting body standards and quality improvement standards for distance education.
  2. apply new information within his/her educational institution to an opportunity for collaboration regarding distance education standards.
  3. identify additional resources for information about distance education standards.

Abstract

The primary aim of this paper is to examine the intersection of exemplar accreditation standards for occupational therapy education and Quality for best practice in distance education for occupational therapy practitioners.

 

Intersection of Exemplar Accreditation Standards and Quality Matters Rubric Standards for Best Practice in Distance Education

The primary aim of this paper is to examine the intersection of exemplar accreditation standards for occupational therapy education and Quality for best practice in distance education for occupational therapy practitioners.