AQC is designed to align with an external quality review system carried out by a network of higher education curriculum experts. Although it is not accreditation, AQC engages a peer review process that is designed to give distance education providers meaningful, relevant feedback that is consistent with the quality enhancement and improvement principles of accreditation.
A hallmark of DEAC's accreditation process is its focus on how individual courses facilitate mastery of learning objectives within the broader framework of a complete program of study or credential. The AQC applies DEAC's system of course-level scrutiny to the curriculum that providers submit for evaluation and an AQC imprimatur. The AQC draws upon an extensive network of peer reviewers, who are subject matter experts in course content and experienced in distance education teaching and learning. AQC is designed to give providers of online courses meaningful and relevant feedback that is consistent with the peer review and continuous improvement principles of accreditation
The DEAC's AQC process focuses on the quality of curriculum and on the soundness of the curriculum's distance education delivery system. AQC evaluation process affirms:
Educational objectives are clearly defined.
The character, nature, quality, value, source of instruction, and educational services are set forth in a manner that is appropriate for the type of learner enrolled.
The educational objectives are reasonably attainable through electronic means, online delivery, or other methods of distance study.
Educational objectives are clearly aligned with stated learning outcomes for the course.
The learning activities and assignments are aligned with the educational objectives and outcomes.
The curriculum is sufficiently comprehensive for learners to achieve the stated educational objectives, is coherent in its content and sequencing, and is supported by sound research and practice.
Curriculum is designed to require learners to engage in analysis, synthesis, and evaluation as part of the course requirements.
The curriculum reflects current knowledge and practice.
Instructional materials are sufficiently comprehensive to enable learners to achieve the announced program objectives.
Movement through the course is intuitive and logical, and a consistent layout design orients learners throughout the course.
Examinations and other assessment techniques reflect current knowledge and practice.
Curriculum delivery utilizes a positive and supportive tone in instructions, learning activities, and learner-instructor engagement.
More details on the quality standards of review are available in the AQC Curriculum Evaluation Rubric.
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