Conceptos claves para la calidad de la educación superior online

Translated title of the contribution: Key concepts for quality in online higher education

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


This study aims to conceptualize the quality of online higher education (OHE) through the perspectives of diverse stakeholders. To this end, we asked students (n=3,152), teachers (n=727) and informants (n=50) from 18 higher education institutions (HEIs) in Chile with online degree programmes to indicate the concepts they associate with quality OHE. Employing a qualitative methodology that combines deductive and inductive methods and lexicometrics, we analysed the data collected through questionnaires and interviews. The findings of this study show how a traditional vision of educational quality coexists in OHE through concepts linked to the ‘graduate profile’, ‘standardization and ‘accreditation’, with emerging perspectives that reinforce the particularities of online education, reflected in concepts such as work-life balance, pedagogical design, equity, the value of technology, institutional support, individual qualities or relevance to the labour market. It highlights that ‘flexibility’ and ‘learning’ are the concepts most frequently mentioned by students and teachers respectively. This article introduces novel categories to conceptualize the quality of OHE by incorporating elements of adult education and virtuality as part of its meanings. Approaching educational quality contextually from a focus on equity is one of the challenges of a continuously growing modality with enormous potential in the framework of a global digital society.

Translated title of the contributionKey concepts for quality in online higher education
Original languageSpanish
Pages (from-to)319-343
Number of pages25
JournalRIED-Revista Iberoamericana de Educación a Distancia
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2024


  • adult education
  • distance learning
  • flexibility
  • online higher education
  • quality of education
  • Distance learning
  • Adult education
  • Quality of education
  • Flexibility
  • Online higher education


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