Standards and specifications for E-learning

DIN PAS 1032-1/2 for education and further education with a special focus placed on E-learning

The Din PAS (Publicly Available Specification) has been available to the German Institute for Norms (Deutschen Institut für Normung e.V.) (DIN) since 2004 and can be transferred to all educational processes in the world of education, despite the emphasis on the namesake E-learning. It observes and describes processes for planning, development, execution, and evaluation in the educational process. Its models are not meant prescriptively, but rather must be adjusted to the respective context (i.e. professional further education, general education, initial school education, etc.) and establish a standardized framework for descriptions. As such, the specification as a flexible instrument can be used for quality assurance and orientation.

Under number 1032, two specifications were made by the German Institute for Norms:

The PAS 1032-1 (free of charge via publishing house Beuth Verlag) consists of:

a.      The reference model of the process description for the quality of planning, development, implementation and evaluation processes of educational offers, in which process categories are identified and described via processes, partial processes, relationship goals, methods, and results;

b.      The reference model for E-learning products, which contains specific criterion for assuring the quality of E-learning products.


The PAS 1032-2 consists of the pedagogical object model (DIN DOM) and XML and XMD diagrams (binding). It contains the four components of context, actors, activities, and resources. It organizes their components (pedagogical objects) and relationships in one model. With the XML and XMD diagrams, the information determined via the model and structured data can be collected and issued again through various forms of media.

The sequence of the process steps and the procedure remain open in DIN PAS 1032-1. The thoroughness through which the processes run is independent of the usage context. In my master’s work, I have developed a design for evaluation based on the DIN PAS 1032-1 in light of the interactive learning environment Lernscouts (can be ordered here).

In order to support the conversion of the reference model in practice, a handout featuring a number of practical examples was developed in the work group "Quality Management and Quality Assurance in E-Learning" at the German Institute for Norms, which I was an active part of. The DIN PAS 1069, "Education and further education under close consideration of E-learning: Guidelines to the reference process model for quality management and quality assurance – planning, development, execution, and evaluation of education processes" is a guideline for the DIN PAS 1032-1 and is also available free of charge as a download from the publishing house Beuth Verlag.

ISO IEC 19796 – 1/3

Since 2009, the first ever four part model for education and further education with E-learning has officially existed as an international standard for the international standardization organization ISO. Part 1 of the ISO IEC 19796 offers a reference process model for providers, customers, and users, in which all of the steps of educational processes and educational offers are described. It is based on the process model for DIN-PAS 1032-1:2004 and serves as a general framework for introduction of quality approaches.

Part 2 of the ISO IEC 19796 consists of a complete quality management system for education and further education – with certification possibilities since 2009. It is known as the Harmonized Quality Model.

Part 3 of the ISO IEC 19796, Reference Methods and Metrics, consists of reference models for methods and metrics for with the first section.

Part 4 is established by the guide How to Use ISO/IEC 19796-1 and, to date, is available in English, French, Russian, and Korean (also planned are Italian, Japanese, and German)