By: Shannon Riggs, Extended Campus, Director of Course Development and Training
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
- 1 QM Master Reviewer
- And, 12 QM-Certified Courses
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.
To get started with QM, or simply to learn more, we invite you to register for an upcoming QM training:
- On-Campus, 8:30 to 4:00, Wednesday, May 7, 2014
- Online, July 14-28, 2014