Online engineering courses: Benchmarking quality

Author First name, Last name, Institution

Maurice Danaher, Zayed University

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Source of Publication

Proceedings of 2014 International Conference on Interactive Collaborative Learning, ICL 2014

Publication Date



© 2014 IEEE. Many engineering courses are being offered in an online mode by tertiary institutions around the world and frequently questions are raised about the quality, or effectiveness, of these courses. While institutions maintain that their online courses are designed and implemented in accordance with good practice there does not appear to be a generally accepted means of measuring and comparing quality. A research project has been undertaken with the aim of determining the constructs that should be used to measure quality in online courses and subsequently build an instrument that uses the constructs to measure quality. In this project an extensive study of published research was conducted to gather the various findings of researchers on what are the attributes of quality in an online course. A large list of items was composed and subsequently analyzed. The analysis of the items and development of the constructs was performed by a group of experts using the Nominal Group Technique. Following a number of rounds of discussion the group reached consensus and seven constructs emerged. These are: information, interface, support, engagement, collaboration, reflection and autonomy. These constructs are considered essential in an effective online learning environment. This paper outlines the research process and then describes each of the seven constructs.




Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.

First Page


Last Page



Computer Sciences | Education


distance learning, effectiveness, eLearning, evaluation, measuring instrument, online learning environments

Scopus ID


Indexed in Scopus


Open Access