Quality Matters at USM
Next workshop: June 24, 2011, 8am to 2pm, Glickman 518. Contact Barbara Stebbins to sign up.
Now that USM is a member of Quality Matters, faculty can ask for a formal or informal QM review of their online and hybrid courses. Faculty can also become faculty mentors and review courses if they have taught online and have gone through the QM peer-review training in the certificate program. Quality Matters is a program developed by Maryland Online that assesses and certifies high quality online and hybrid courses. This peer-review process is faculty-centered and focuses only on the course design.
QM’s mission is “to promote and improve the quality of online education and student learning.” (QM website) One way to realize this is to “provide faculty development training in the use of QM rubric(s) and other quality practices to improve the quality of online/hybrid courses.” (QM website). This is what we would like to accomplish.
A rubric consisting of 40 QM standards is used when a course is reviewed. The criteria used in the creation of the rubric are backed by research, best practices, and instructional design principles. The research is ongoing and the rubric is revised every 2 -3 years. The rubric can also be used personally when faculty are developing and revising their own online and hybrid courses. At USM, our hope is to turn out many “Faculty Mentors” who will then be available to do informal reviews of online/hybrid courses if an instructor requests it. As of now, we have 5 faculty mentors: John Broida, Jeff Beaudry, Michel Lahti, John Muthyala, Bernice Conklin-Powers, and Karen Day.
The faculty mentor will focus only on course design and not delivery or the teaching philosophy of the course developer. The review is done from the perspective of the student because Quality Matters is concerned with promoting active learning and engaging the student in the learning process.
The course does not have to meet the standards at 100%, but must reach an 85% expectation mark. The philosophy behind Quality Matters is that an online course or a hybrid course can always undergo revisions.
One of USM QM faculty mentor sums it up by saying: “Quality Matters makes you concentrate on the things that matter for good teaching and good design learning. Quality Matters also forces you to think in terms of student success!!!”
To get a copy of the rubric and an annotated version with further explanation and examples, please self-enroll in the Blackboard organization "Quality Matters at USM" with the password USMQM. To do this:
- Sign in to Blackboard, then select the Communities Tab at the top of the page.
- Search for Name Contains Quality Matters. You will get only one result.
- To the far right of that listing is an enroll button.
- Select that button to enroll. Password is USMQM (all caps).
Please note that we only have permission to share QM materials with USM faculty and staff. Please do not make copies or share the organization with faculty or staff from other institutions. They can get more information directly from QM. Watch for announcements of ongoing introductory workshops and Applying the QM Rubric to Your Course workshops!