On 27 January 2017, Chancellor Melinda dP. Bandalaria conducted a talk on the QAlidad flagship program of the UP Open University. This was held at the Sandbox and attended by faculty and staff who eagerly listened and asked questions regarding the guiding principles and researchable areas that cover the goals of QAlidad.
As the leading open and distance e-learning (ODeL) institution in the Philippines, it is imperative for the UP Open University to ensure and uphold quality standards in terms of instruction, research, public service, and administration. Hence, QAlidad has been deemed as the overarching flagship program that should permeate all the activities of the university. In line with this, Chancellor Bandalaria emphasized the QAlidad components which should be done and developed by the faculty and staff through scientific research. These are as follows: QA Audit, Development of the QA Framework, and the UP Open University QA System Implementation.
In order to operationalize the aforementioned QAlidad components, Chancellor Bandalaria shared the research plan which included survey research on perception of quality and review of literature that will surface the pillars of quality education in open and distance e-learning. The results of the research will be subjected to five rounds of Delphi and will serve as guides for the Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) with the members of the Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU). The KIIs will compile the open and distance education institution practices that have an impact on quality assurance and will also be the basis of the Quality Assurance Framework Version 1.0 (QA Framework V1). The QA Framework V1 will be benchmarked with the processes and procedures of the UP Open University. The results of this benchmarking activity will be considered as the QA Framework Version 2.0 that the UP Open University will be implementing.
Chancellor Bandalaria also reiterated that since the UP Open University has been mandated through the Open and Distance Learning Act or Republic Act 10650 to lead the development and promotion of best practices in open and distance learning, the results of the research on QA will be shared in different conferences and through a publication of the QA ODeL Manual which will be circulated to higher education institutions in the Philippines and the members of the AAOU.