April 29, 2014
by eLearning Staff
Quality Matters (QM) is a nonprofit organization focusing on quality course design in online and blended learning. The Quality Matters Program is a nationally recognized and widely used standard of excellence. Colleges and universities submit courses to Quality Matters for peer review and evaluation. The process provides feedback for continuous improvement and faculty development. The Quality Matters Program is used by over 700 colleges and universities around the country.
In eLearning Services, Quality Matters is just one of the frameworks being used to evaluate online courses for quality improvement. Dr. Richard Bush is pushing for the implementation of quality improvement on both a programmatic and course design level within Lawrence Tech’s online courses.
The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) looks for evidence during accreditation visits that schools are incorporating quality standards into their everyday practices. Quality Matters is one of the frameworks that they look for – in addition to Sloan-C Quality Framework and Scorecard.
During the QM Process, courses are evaluated using the QM Rubric. This research-based, time-tested, and continuously improving evaluation tool helps bring courses into alignment with set quality standards. The QM Rubric looks at eight key areas, including:
- Course Overview and Introduction
- Learning Objectives
- Assessment and Measurement
- Instructional Materials
- Learner Interaction and Engagement
- Course Technology
- Learner Support
The QM review process is completed by a team consisting of three or more reviewers. At least one the reviewers must be a subject matter expert in the discipline being reviewed, and at least one reviewer must be from a different school. All of the reviewers need to have taught an online course within the last eighteen months. Both Marija Franetovic and Lynn Miller-Wietecha recently completed QM training. They are reviewing ways in which our online courses can better align with QM standards.
Right now eLearning Services is focusing on three key areas of improvement for all of our online courses. These areas are course overview and introduction, learner support, and accessibility. QM standards will be incorporated into these key areas in the coming months. In the future, course developers will work directly with faculty to address other QM standards on an individual course level. The ultimate goal is to submit courses to the Quality Matters Program for evaluation.
eLearning Services is actively looking for ways to engage colleges, departments, and individual faculty members in implementing QM standards within Lawrence Tech courses. To get involved, please contact eLearning Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.