In Spring of 2013, Ecampus launched its Quality Matters Course Design Initiative. We chose the Quality Matters (QM) organization for several reasons: the program’s maturity (over 10 years); wide adoption (over 700 subscribing institutions); the student-centered philosophy; the collegial and collaborative nature of the program; its ability to establish clear standards while still allowing academic freedom and plenty of options; and finally, its research-based foundation.
Our goal was to improve the quality of our online course offerings by using the QM program and rubric to focus on course design. Courses that have been QM-certified provide online students with an orienting course overview and introduction; clear navigation; learning outcomes that are aligned with weekly objectives, assessments, and learning materials; effective uses of technology; learner support and engagement; and accessible course content. In short, QM-certified courses are student-centered in their design.
One year into the initiative, we couldn’t be more pleased with the results so far. We are excited to share this QM progress report:
41 Faculty/Staff Members trained in QM standards
23 Certified QM Peer Reviewers, who have served on 14 peer reviews here and at other institutions
Interested faculty can get involved with the QM initiative in two primary ways—by having a course reviewed, or by serving on a peer review team. Ecampus provides plenty of support for faculty opting to have a course reviewed and certified by QM, and training and stipends are offered to those who serve as peer reviewers or master reviewers.
On Friday we hosted the first O&E Quarterly Conversation. This new effort is in response to the request for more regular opportunities to hear from division leadership as well as to discuss timely topics. We had a great turnout, both in person and online, with some excellent questions. We started with a few unit updates from Extension, Extended Campus and PACE, I shared about the division’s new Leadership Development Program for Executives and then the majority of the time was spent on Q&A.
If you weren’t able to join us, you can view the recording. If you have additional questions or comments, this is a great place to continue the conversation.
The next O&E Quarterly Conversation will take place this summer. Watch for a calendar invitation for that soon.
Position: Sea Grant Aquaculture Extension Specialist
Hometown: White Bear Lake, Minnesota
# of years at OSU: 3 Years, Master’s Degree in Aquaculture; 1 Year, current position
Best part of your job: The best part of my job is walking out on the mudflats at low tide to work with oysters, clams, and the hardworking shellfish farmers who collaborate with nature to supply us with delicious seafoods. Aquaculture is such a diverse topic, and I like the variety of projects that come to me; everything from farming mussels, koi, shrimp, trout, and aquarium fish to salmon enhancement and aquaponics.
Something someone might be surprised to know about you: In another fork of my professional career, I was a National Park Service interpretive ranger, working at Anasazi archaeological sites in the southwest, and studying the meanings that people make from their experiences at those sites.
My favorite albums today: Ronn McFarlan, The Scottish Lute; Jethro Tull,The Best of Acoustic Jethro Tull
My favorite books today: J. R. R. Tolkein, Lord of the Rings Trilogy; Christina Eisenberg, The Wolf’s Tooth: Keystone Predators, Trophic Cascades, and Biodiversity.
Recently OSU passed the billion-dollar mark on our first-ever capital campaign, with the 4-H Foundation raising over $16 million – strengthening 4-H today and for years to come. Plans are now underway for a post-campaign fundraising initiative, and there is an opportunity for our division to play a significant role. As a first step, we have been asked to identify distinctive qualities that would inspire financial support for outreach and engagement programs.
I’d appreciate your thoughts on the following:
What makes outreach and engagement at OSU distinct from similar units at other institutions?
What are our emerging areas of strength deserving of additional investment and why?
What can the division provide to students so they are best prepared to become leaders?
Please contribute by commenting below. Your answers will be shared with our OSU Foundation team as they work on shaping this new campaign initiative.
In May, we will begin accepting applications for the division’s new Leadership Development Program for Executives. Curious and want to learn more? Join us on April 25 at the O&E Quarterly Update when Deb Maddy will share additional details about this exciting opportunity.
The spring issue of O&E Magazine is now available in print and online. This issue features stories about STEM-related outreach and engagement activities from across the university. Check out the stories on the new website.
O&E Colloquium Wednesday, April 16, 2-5pm (reception to follow)
CH2M Hill Alumni Center Event website
Ecampus Faculty Forum Over lunch, Eduventures’ President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Nemec will present a national market update on online education based on a 2014 study published by this Boston-based market research firm. Thursday, April 17, 8am-4:15pm
CH2M Hill Alumni Center Register
This conference, to be held May 13-15 in Orlando, convenes today’s top education thought leaders and practitioners to share their vision of tomorrow’s online education ecosystem and provides a roadmap of how to collectively reach it. Dave King will be presenting on the international projects and the bilingual learning modules being produced by our Open Educational Resources unit. Check out Dianna Fisher’s guest post on her recent trip to China to learn more about work in this area.
QUESTION OF THE MONTH
Q: What is OSU doing to support faculty success?
A: I serve on a Provost’s Council work group that is designing a prioritized approach to helping our faculty be successful. In February, we sponsored a faculty forum to collect input about possibilities. Some of the ideas included:
The importance of meaningful start-up funds for new faculty, grant support, help in achieving work-life balance, and controlling cumbersome bureaucracy (early career).
The mixed value of mentoring and need to focus on items that simplify the conflicting demands of serving on the faculty—such as facilities support and ordering equipment. (mid-career)
Work elements that enhance satisfying relationships, the importance of physical spaces, administrative support. (late career)
Several division faculty members participated in this exercise, and the Provost’s Council will soon consider initiating a systematic program.
I recently traveled to China to train faculty at the Central Agricultural Broadcasting and Television School (CABTS) on Articulate Storyline – a software solution that enables the creation of learning modules using a friendly interface. The training was sponsored by Oregon State University and the American Distance Educational Consortium.
I flew to Beijing on March 21st and was picked up at the airport and taken to dinner before settling into my hotel to rest after a long flight and losing a day. I have to mention that this meal was the first of many that the beginning topic of conversation has something to do with my skill with chopsticks. Really! I had different dinner companions at almost every meal and they were all impressed. I didn’t realize this was such an admired ability, but several commented that I was better with them than they were.
It seems that over the 10 days I ate more food than I normally eat in a month, but it was all good, healthy food. Each meal consisted of 10-15 dishes and each a Beijing specialty. I ate everything from fungus to grass carp to tripe and some things I am sure I am better off not knowing, but it gave them such pleasure to keep me sampling everything while being asked, “Do you love it?” My answer was usually, “Yes!” The food was fresh and simple. It’s not the Chinese food we are served here. They took great delight that I photographed every dish and if I forgot, someone would remind me before a serving was taken. The Peking Duck was fabulous. There is actually a ritual to eating it.
In between training times, I was taken to the Great Wall of China and we walked five miles of it. After training was finished, I had an afternoon of bartering at the market with my friend Zhou Xiao (Kitty) who had previously visited OSU. I spent my last day with Julia (I can’t even begin to transliterate her Chinese name into English letters). We walked over 10 miles that day as we went to the Temple of Heaven, The Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and of course, short visit to Chairman Mao laying in state in his crystal coffin….
….But, the training….
The workshop participants were faculty members who are responsible for delivering education to the farmers in their provinces.
I am so happy that I was given the opportunity to go to China and work with these faculty members who became my students for the week. They had a wide-range of ages and were from five different provinces.
The group went beyond what they were taught and sought out advanced techniques on their own and found delight in sharing with the others.
I did not know what kind of students I would find in the class. Would I find students who were there because they were told to be? Was this a mandatory training? I am excited that I found a group of students who were eager to learn, who were very smart and who took the initiative to solve problems and create solutions.
The presentations were the beginnings of what would eventually become learning modules that would be packaged for farmers to access.
The topics were crop rotation, integrated pest management, corn borers, silk worms and the ever present smog. I enjoyed working with them, teaching them, and then watching them work with each other as they created their projects and then presented them on the last day.
The learners exceeded my expectations for their learning and the staff of CABTS exceeded my expectations for hospitality. I look forward to continued collaborations.