Quality Matters Standards
Through the implementation of the Quality Matters (QM) rubric standards, the online graduate faculty will receive appropriate technical, design and production support.
The online graduate faculty is supported through the use of the Quality Matters Rubric and process in the following ways:
- The Quality Matters process is designed to ensure that all reviewed courses will eventually meet expectations.
- The process is integral to a continuous quality improvement process.
- On research - the development of the rubric is based in national standards of best practice, the research literature, and instructional design principles.
- On student learning - the rubric and process are designed to promote student learning.
- On quality - the review sets a quality goal at the 85% level or better (courses do not have to be perfect but better than good enough).
- A Quality Matters review is part of a faculty-driven, peer-review process.
- The review process is intended to be diagnostic and collegial, not evaluative and judgmental.
- The review is based on collaboratively identified evidence found in the course rather than the personal preference of an individual reviewer.
- The review is flexible and not prescriptive (many ways to meet each standard).
- The review team consists of three experienced online instructors as reviewers along with the course faculty developer.
Benefits of the Quality Matters process for faculty and Western State Colorado University include the following:
- Confirms Western's commitment to excellence in online learning.
- Provides for a continuous quality review of online courses through a systematic process.
- Offers a collaborative approach to online course development.
- Supports on-going faculty development based on needs assessment.
- Uses a faculty centered process grounded in research that assists students.
- Offers access to instructional design support.
- Assists Western in meeting the Accreditation Standards for Distance Learning.
Required Training and Support
Course Designers - All Western State Colorado University faculty serving as graduate online course designers will be required to use the current campus- and/or department-approved course management system (i.e. Blackboard) and supporting software (i.e. Softchalk, Wimba, etc). All Western faculty serving as graduate online course designers will be required to participate, or demonstrate proficiency, in the following training leading to Western State Colorado University Online Initial Course Designer Certification:
- Building your Online Course Using the QM Rubric: A QM training
- Building your online course in Blackboard: A WSC Online Training Module
- Building your online course using Softchalk: A WSC Online Training Module
- Building your online course using Wimba's Collaborative Tools: A WSC Online Training Module
Course Instructors - All Western State Colorado University faculty serving as graduate online course instructors will be required to participate, or demonstrate proficiency, in the following trainings leading to Western State Colorado University Online Initial Course Instructor Certification:
- Building your Online Course Using the QM Rubric
- WSC Graduate Online Instructor Expectations signed contract
- Teaching your online course in Blackboard: A WSC Online Training Module
- Teaching your online course using Softchalk: A WSC Online Training Module using Softchalk's: Quick Tour Videos
- Teaching your online course using Wimba's Collaborative Tools: A WSC Online Training Module
Additional Trainings and Supports
Additional faculty trainings and supports will be determined and designed based on needs assessment using faculty surveys, student surveys and recommendations from the Western State Colorado University Online Course Review Team, based on a synthesis of results from campus-wide reviews.
In addition to our available Western State Colorado University campus-wide technology support, it is proposed that all Western Online Graduate Course Designers and Instructors enroll in a Western State Colorado University online collaborative support site. The site would:
- allow faculty to access additional resources for improving courses including books, articles, websites, and video tutorials.
- encourage faculty to participate in discussions with colleagues on how to improve online course design and instruction.
- provide faculty with awareness of upcoming training opportunities.
- promote a "faculty-helping-faculty" approach.
- offer timely "tips of the week" for improving courses.
- provide an avenue for Q & A, in which participants could pose questions and colleagues could respond with answers or ideas.
Potential Basic Trainings:
- Online Blackboard Quick Tutorials
- Behind the Blackboard for Faculty, Instructors, and Designers
- Softchalk Short Courses: Interactive Learning Activities Embedded Media and Sidebars, etc.
- Softchalk Innovators Series: Teaching Educators How to Teach Online using SoftChalk Lessons, Create Content that Meets Quality Matters Standards for Online Courses,The Importance of Learning Style Pathways.
- Softchalk Quick Tour Videos: Sample Lesson, Create a Lesson, Multiple-Page Lessons, Style a Lesson, Create a Style, Export and Import Styles, Text Annotations, Self-Check Questions, Interactive Activities, Package a Lesson.
Potential Advanced Trainings:
- Improving Your Online Course Using the QM Rubric
- Applying the QM Rubric
- Quality Matters Standard 1: Design That Welcomes Your Students
- Quality Matters Standard 2: Measurable Learning Objectives at the Course and Module Levels
- Quality Matters Standard 6: Choosing and Using Media Effectively
- Quality Matters Standard 8: Addressing Accessibility
- Using visual elements to impact online learning
- Making connections with the online student
- Creating meaningful assessments in the online course