Inter-Learner Communication and Collaborative Learning as Quality Criteria of Distance Vocational Education and Training

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Abstract

Distance web-based VET is nowadays of utmost importance for the EU. But, its special characteristics create doubts, as far as its quality is concerned, so research in this field is essential. According to the theoretical background, teaching methods and specifically, inter-learner communication and collaborative learning, are related to quality assurance. However, they are not always included in quality criteria nor is their use widespread in Greek distance VET. The aim of the research was to compare learner views with EU policy on the inclusion of inter-learner communication and collaborative learning in quality criteria. A qualitative research design was used to investigate EU quality assurance policy and frameworks. According to the findings, inter-learner communication is included in seven EU quality assurance frameworks, while collaborative learning in five of them. Learners have the same opinion about collaborative learning, but inter-learner communication is not as widely accepted as it is by EU organizations. However, from both perspectives, there is a stronger preference for distance inter-learner communication.

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