Quality Matters

Understanding the Quality Matters Rubric

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At 2:00pm On 11/10/16 I attended Understanding the Quality Matters Rubric by Geni Wright at the 2016 USCA NDLW Virtual Conference.

Understanding the Quality Matters Rubric

Quality Matters is a non-profit organization that provides professional development for instructional designers and faculty implementing online and blended courses. As the Quality Matters Coordinator for Lake-Sumter State College, Geni’s responsible for quality assurance of online and blended courses using the Quality Matters Rubric consisting of 8 General Standards and 43 Specific Standards. This workshop introduced the Quality Matters Rubric and how to use it for faculty and course development.

Preparing Your Course for QM Review

The information in this guide can put your course well on its way to being prepared for Quality Matters certification.


An assessment must always measure the stated learning objectives. Assignments should
encourage active learning by allowing learners demonstrate their mastery of an objective
by performing the skill learned in the objective. Assessments should be varied and
sequenced (students only use skills they’ve already learned). Optional assignments must
be clearly marked as such.

All course and module objectives should be measurable. The unit objectives and the
course objectives must support the same outcome. Module objectives must be achieved by
assignments in that module. Non-native speakers must be able to understand the objective
and its outcome. No jargon, unexplained terminology, or unnecessarily complex language
should be present.

Learning Materials
Include a variety of instructional materials to accommodate different types of learners.
Include an explanation regarding the purpose of the learning materials (textbook, thirdparty
resources, technologies, learning activities) and what order to do them in (usually an
assignment list). The purpose of some materials, such as textbook readings, may be selfevident
and do not require explanation. Include all types of interaction: instructor-learner
interaction (assignment feedback, Collaborate, instructor posts in discussions, FAQ, etc.),
learner-learner interaction (discussions, group projects, peer reviews, etc.), and learnercontent
interaction (textbook readings, scientific and/or professional articles/journals, etc.).

Syllabus & Policies
The syllabus should clearly indicate the modality of the course (online, hybrid, etc.).
The syllabus should clearly indicate the modes of communication utilized in the course
(email, Blackboard messaging, Collaborate, etc.). Include a comprehensive “Methods
of Evaluation” in the Syllabus & Policies section listing all assignments grouped by point

Include an orientation discussion post for students to introduce themselves to their
classmates. The instructor may post their own bio/introduction here. Include an explanation
of the minimum technical skills required for the course. This means any skills needed to
use all course tools and features as well as operate any required hardware.

Course Building Checklist – High-priority items for improving a course

  • Course description from the course catalog on the Home page
  • Course Link to the Getting Started unit on the Home page
  • List of the prerequisite courses on the Home page
  • Course navigation information in the Getting Started unit
  • Comprehensive course calendar
  • Academic integrity and late work submission policies in the syllabus
  • Item explaining how long it will take to receive a response from the instructor
  • List of citations for resources in the course taken from third-party sources
  • Info regarding how often students should check the course for announcements, requirements for assignments, for contacting instructor, etc.
  • Opportunities for students to track their progress. Practice assignments, instructor feedback, peer reviews (graded or not), model essays, examples, journals, reflection papers
  • Instructor Info page, including a short bio, photograph, contact info, office hours, collaborate room/virtual office, etc
  • Rubric attached to every assignment. Rubrics must align with course objectives. A copy of each rubric should be available in the Rubrics folder in Syllabus & Policies
  • Instructor Info page, including a short bio, photograph, contact info, office hours, collaborate room/virtual office, etc.

Accessibility Checklist – Essential to ensure ADA compliance

  • Captions and/or transcripts for all videos
  • Alt tags for images. Decorative images do not require alt tags
  • Links to accessibility statements for all software and resources. For resources
    that do not have an accessibility statement available, write a notice explaining
    that it does not

  • Links to privacy policies and support pages for all software and resources
  • Link to your Help Desk website in the Syllabus & Policies folder
  • Link to your Disability Services website in the Syllabus & Policies folder
  • Item explaining Netiquette expectations in the Syllabus & Policies folder
  • Instructions for obtaining all required software. Links to alternative software if primary software does not support multiple operating systems
  • List of all the technology a student will need to attain to take the course. This includes publisher materials. Provide instructions for attaining, installing, and using the technologies

This was some great information, but again, this follows our EPIC material in most places, and falls short in others. I can really see how we have incorporated the Quality Matters (QM) material here and expanded upon it to create some really fantastic infrastructure and material. I am just more and more impressed the more professional development I cover.

Engaging Faculty Learners: Does a Constructivist Approach Help Motivate the Dis-Engaged?

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At 11:00am On 11/8/16 I attended Engaging Faculty Learners: Does a Constructivist Approach Help Motivate the Dis-Engaged? presented by C at the 2016 USCA NDLW Virtual Conference.

Social Media & Learning Engagement in Online Education


This presentation looks at the real life experiences seen in an asynchronous course designed for faculty at the University of South Carolina


From early 2004 until Spring 2011, there was only one instructional designer for campus and statewide system! You can imagine how Overwhelming this was. Mainly this was 1 to 1 consultations and workshops met the needs of some faculty. She Kept answering same questions and concerns, but there was no budget for instructional design.


Started maintaining Instructional Design Repository on Blackboard in 2001. Instructional Design department members had a background in Quality Matters (QM) since 1998. Quality Matters (QM) is a nationally recognized, faculty-centered, peer review process designed to certify the quality of online courses and online components.

Background 1991 until 2011

She and her department began growing faculty populations- adjunct, clinical, full-time, part-time faculty and teaching assistants. During this time, online education seen as a tool to boost enrollments. The University began a re-organization with New delivery methods and a Move from Repository to Course. In 2007, they designed a basic asynchronous course for faculty based on the principles of Quality Matters and the ADDIE (Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, Evaluate) Design Model for 14 interested faculty.

Without financial/administrative backing, the faculty did not finish the course!

1st adopters didn’t see need for training, and In a Nutshell- Development was needed. Primary faculty advocate for distance education faculty saw the need to help. So, they used University-supported software and LMS- Blackboard. Though they could offer no reward system except certificate (surprisingly effective), people got involved. Faculty seen ill-prepared to teach hybrid, flipped, blended or online courses

To create more success, the result was created as a Fun, free, explorative, 8 week asynchronous online training course- Effective Online Instruction (EOI) since 2007 statewide. Faculty could participate as online learners, and take a Constructivist Approach- they could learn from their own experiences
Collegial and non-threatening.


Consecutive EOI Offerings:

2007- N= 14 Initial offering
2008- N= 10- Pilot project
2009- N= 32 First Real Offering
2010- N= 46
2011- N= 71
2012- N= 91
2013- N= 62
2014- N= 93
2015- N= 68
2016- N= 67

Why take the training?

What is your main reason for taking the Effective Online Instruction course?

  • Possibility of more money/income
  • I want to get another job
  • Departmental mandate
  • Want to keep current in my teaching

All were true!

Overview for the course

  • Basics
  • Student-instructor relationships
  • Online learning tactics
  • Backwards design
  • Basic teaching methods
  • University procedures
  • Technology

Structure of course

  • Incorporate constructivist teaching methods throughout the course
  • Use all relevant aspects of LMS so that faculty can see how and why to use them
  • High level of communication with wikis, blogs, discussion boards, social media
  • Assignments are viewable for the entire class (good and bad)
  • Providing cognitive dissonance is a hallmark of the course
  • Faculty forced out of their comfort zones but on their own terms
  • Constructivist model- Students can come to their own realizations and make their own discoveries through experiences in the course
  • Not always favored by faculty!!!

Constructivist Approach

  • Faculty use their own experiences and knowledge in their assignments
  • Every assignment/assessment is aligned to learning objectives
  • Facilitator leads the faculty member along a “bread crumb” trail of knowledge and experiential learning

Hallmarks of Constructivism

  • Constructs knowledge rather than regurgitation of a series of facts
  • Ask questions
  • Explore
  • Real world problem-solving
  • Experiential learning- Do!

Builds on curiosity

It was important that in these classes, we focus on not just mechanically remembering facts or doing tests. The important thing is that we build on knowledge through sequential reflection in discussion boards, wikis, blogs

Poll 2

  • What concerns you most regarding teaching online?
  • Not enough time to commit
  • I am just scared
  • Haven’t been in class for awhile
  • I don’t think that I am ready for this
  • I don’t want to look stupid

Lessons Learned

Problem: Faculty anxious and scared
Remedy: Course is designed to be a collegial, non-threatening experience for learning and exploration
Involvement and engagement encouraged but problematic because of no reward system or due dates/deadline

Problem: Faculty Worried About the Training
“I need step-by-step instructions like you would give a 6 year old, and need more encouragement and instruction on using discussion board.”
“One of my issues is that I teach 7 courses and that’s not my full time job!  Often I have felt is I just got the basics out there I deserved an A.  But lately I knew I was missing the mark.”
Often, faculty are displeased when a student says “just tell me what to do to get an A”, but that’s exactly how many approach the professional development. They may not need the info, not use it, or simply aren’t committed to getting the information around their primary schedules.

problem: Social Media Dilemma
“I was really, really, really opposed to joining Facebook.  I have real privacy concerns, and their policy is not a good one. However, after almost a week of thinking about it, I bit the bullet and did the assignment.  It was a close call — I almost dropped out of the class. I decided to go ahead and join because I knew I would learn some important things, and I figured the benefits would outweigh the costs in the long run.”
Technology can be difficult to adapt to, especially if you have some pre-existing thoughts that continually get in the way.

Issues in the Course

  • Many faculty not interested in learning in a constructivist manner.
  • They prefer being given facts.
  • “Tell me what to do”
  • “Could you do it for me?’
  • Some faculty put up roadblocks all along the way so that they can easily “give up”.
  • Necessary Facilitator Characteristics
  • Empathy
  • Playing “devil’s advocate”
  • Good use of counseling background!
  • Ability to help people in denial
  • Ability to coax and motivate faculty
  • Ability to use humor in the course

Faculty need basics of course design but not in-depth knowledge

“I really liked learning about Bloom’s Taxonomy.  I am embarrassed to say this was the first I had heard of it. : ( What a tremendous help!!!!)
“This course seems to put all the pieces together- like the one-stop shopping.”

Poll 3

What dilemmas do you face in taking this course and teaching online?

  • Money
  • Time
  • I have other things to do
  • Technology issues

Being a little bit out of date…

When looking to training and a constructivist classroom, it is important to focus on realistic Faculty needs. Often this requires a good, long, hard look at the skills, talents, and training they have. Unfortunately that often means Increasing need for basic skills and training in online teaching, and a definite need for overarching information on Bloom’s Taxonomy, good teaching methods, technologies, social media

Instructional designer in IT only academic on staff

Problems faced:

  • IT area only discussed technology not pedagogy or teaching- not favorable to faculty
  • Many faculty never had training in teaching methods (“What is a learning objective?”)
  • Many faculty taught like they were taught 20-30 years ago!
  • Anxiety
  • Tenure and promotion pressure
  • Other Situations
  • Little or no administrative backing or directive mandating instructional design help for online teaching
  • “Sink or swim” method prevalent
  • Faculty didn’t want to commit themselves to possible, and often times, probable “failure” in teaching online
  • No additional funding for faculty

Problem: Faculty too busy or pre-occupied
Remedy: Course is asynchronous as a direct result of faculty concerns. There is never a “good time” for a live class meeting. Always something else taking priority, especially when you don’t want this to happen. Some faculty have taken course 3 times or more!

“I didn’t like all the readings. I didn’t want to read them so I didn’t. It would have been a problem if I had to, but since I do not, it is not a problem. I actually like the fact that I have choices.”
“I have never used discussion board and feel like I need step-by-step instructions. It may seem simple to the Gen-Xers, but not to me. Also, I don’t feel like reading everyone’s post to get caught up, so i just decide not to read at all.”

“Since this is an eight week course, it is truly a pressure cooker course. Because there is so little time, not a minute can be wasted!”

Faculty need basics of course design but not in-depth knowledge

“I really liked learning about Bloom’s Taxonomy.  I am embarrassed to say this was the first I had heard of it. : (  What a tremendous help!!!!)

“This course seems to put all the pieces together- like the one-stop shopping.”

“I can now understand that structuring online courses is much different than planning for a conventional f2f format.”

“Until now, Blackboard and I were just friends but we are now forming an intimate relationship, thanks to Renee and my classmates! (Sorry, Blackboard, if you feel used! And I will drop you if a better course management package comes along!)”


Relationship building- a community of faculty learners statewide. “I was wondering if that would be an interest in some sort of “reunion.” Perhaps this group could meet, albeit informally, in Columbia somewhere… It would be great to see the faces that go with names, and to spend some time discussing these issues…”

Faculty are very enthusiastic to find that they are not alone in their trip into the unknown area of online learning. While they are experts in their fields, they are mostly “digital immigrants” moving into this arena. Success was seen when faculty “came of age” in learning and incorporated instructional design in their courses.


We have found several positives that can come from online courses: Course assignments are real-work on faculty’s online courses-no busy work! Helped many teaching assistants and adjunct faculty members get teaching positions. Seen as a stepping stone in obtaining University grants. Relationships continue long after the course

“The instructor approaches us as adults with varied needs, varied motivations, and varied commitment to levels of engagement with this course”.


  • Lot of work for the facilitator in prep and facilitation
  • Faculty often “waffle” back and forth in their commitment to course
  • Every faculty/student had a different story- just like “normal students”
  • Without being strict on the timeframe, faculty/students sometimes take advantage of situation
  • A majority of the faculty participants felt at a loss when it came to using social media specifically, Facebook. In the future, the instructional
  • designer will need to give more step-by-step instructions on basic concepts such as how to make a Facebook account and “like” a fan page as the majority of the faculty participants were unable to do so.

Adding Video

The instructional designer gave written directions as well as video and screen capturing videos showing participants how to navigate the course (wikis, Adobe Connect sessions, YouTube videos) on the learning management system, Blackboard, but these attempts were not sufficient enough to meet the needs of the faculty participants. In the future, more initial training handouts will be written and “how-to” videos produced.


  • Lack of institutional mandate that faculty take the course
  • No reward system in place- financial, time, reduced workload
  • Recent development of similar course on campus- Good to have money to pay faculty to complete the course


1st adopters in their units want course to be more advanced. 1st timers want course to be more basic. Problematic following special requests for different time offerings or other special considerations. Facilitator’s validation from students sometimes lacking- hard to beg for participation

Faculty often think that they have to abandon their own teaching philosophy.

Sometimes faculty don’t think that they have much to learn. Ultimately some faculty don’t want to learn this way. Some put up artificial roadblocks so they don’t have to finish course


  • “Herding cats” Scenario- Participants do not want synchronous meetings but evaluations say that they want more f2f interaction or live online
  • interaction
  • Little academic or administrative directive mandating instructional design help for online teaching
  • Quality Matters review initiative
  • No set pattern system-wide for training or teaching online
  • Limited resources, budget, and time
  • Mechanism to get faculty involved in course

Future Plans

Only offer the course once a year. Do not leave faculty students in the course throughout the year. Just like regularly scheduled terms, have strict timeframes for completion. Finally… Soul searching is good.

Faculty may not like the constructivist method or the cognitive dissonance while they are in the class, but feel better about it later.

Developing Faculty Mentors: The Low-Stress Option To Faculty Training

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At 10:00am On 11/10/16 I attended Developing Faculty Mentors: The Low-Stress Option To Faculty Training presented by Geni Wright at the 2016 USCA NDLW Virtual Conference.

Developing Faculty Mentors: The Low-Stress Option To Faculty Training

In her presentation, Geni Wright spoke on how developing faculty mentors modeling best practices for online and blended courses is an excellent resource for new and established faculty. Faculty mentors provide a long-term training strategy that is both cost-effective and user-friendly. Faculty are often more receptive to fellow faculty suggestions for course revisions providing collaboration opportunities and development of future training modules based on common concerns and trends. Faculty mentors have the additional benefit of ongoing professional development, interdepartmental interaction, and are often included in the planning and training for early adopters of newly adopted technology at the institution.

This discussion had no slide deck, so it seemed more like a free-flowing presentation with some off-the-cuff thoughts on the way through. Main topics were folded into:

  • Opportunities to enhance faculty training
  • The need for more effective peer to peer training
  • A way for faculty to model universal design in online and blended courses

Geni Wright discussed that her school contains only 175 faculty members at her school, and this required a team of 3 faculty members and a growing system requiring 1 faculty mentor per department moving forward. Faculty chosen for these mentor positions are ones using the universal design theories and practices in their classes. We need the faculty to facilitate and participate in the program are the ones who are showing the best use in their classrooms.

As a school which participates in Quality Matters (QM), faculty mentors participate in an internal peer review process to assist faculty in alignment for initial quality matters pre-review. Quality matters at their school is voluntary. I found this to be surprising. It calls to mind the idea that schools of small sizes have a lot to offer, but not always what is needed for larger schools. Granted, this goes both ways.

Moving into the latter portion of the session, the speaker discussed accessibility and objectives- issues we have covered heavily in our QM training here on campus, and moved into with EPIC. I was EXTREMELY surprised to find out how many schools are NOT ADA section 508 compliant with accessibility.

Some of this was not useful. A major improvement discussed was the use of Starfish, a faculty student evaluation tool, but the speaker mentioned that many teachers at her college were not aware of how to use the blackboard gradebook, and not all teachers did use it. This was extremely disheartening. However, not everyone can be the best, so there was a good deal to learn overall, just not a lot of it was for me.

IDEA 3.0: A Team Approach to Building Quality Courses

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At 9:00am On 11/10/16 I attended IDEA 3.0: A Team Approach to Building Quality Courses presented by Ms. Laura McNeill & Dr. Jenelle Hodges at the 2016 USCA NDLW Virtual Conference.

IDEA 3.0: A Team Approach to Building Quality Courses


What is IDEA: Our Plan

  1. Introductions
  2. The challenge
  3. What is IDEA
  4. The elements
  5. Explanation
  6. Theoretical foundations
  7. Application
  8. Examples of how it works
  9. Q&A


Laura McNeill has 4 years in Higher Education and 15 years in Industry. She has an MS in Interactive Technology and is currently working to complete Ph.D. in Instructional Leadership. She has published 6 novels and is a self-declared coffee connoisseur.

Jenelle Hodges has over 10 + years working in Higher Education. She has an MS and PhD in Instructional Design and Development, and has been a Student, Teacher, Designer in multiple learning environments. She is happily married with 2 little girls and 2 fur-babies, and loves to scrap quilt in her spare time.

The challenge

The question is always the same… is there a road map or a special teaching process leading to success in the eLearning environment? The current academic race for retention in classes, training, and/or degree programs has intensified the examination of the success, or lack thereof, of the eLearning environment. As the demand for online learning grows, institutions are under increasing pressure to produce quality courses for diverse learners.

Collaboration through IDEA

They believe that a sound pedagogically founded model should embody the flexibility and adaptability to move throughout the transformations in current trends within the every changing landscape of education. A collaborative team approach often bridges the gap for faculty faced with developing engaging content and interactive activities that motivate students and facilitate learning. This team of experts, which can include instructional designer, multimedia experts, graphic designers, copyright specialists, and accessibility advisors, use pedagogy, theory, and creative paradigms to develop a framework for quality course design.

IDEA Plan in Action



“Online course development is a complex endeavor, and it is not reasonable to believe that a high caliber online course of instruction can be created by just one or two people. Quality courseware production requires a highly organized, concerted effort from many players” Caplan (2004 )

“Online delivery challenges traditional notions of academics working in isolation and instead brings together teams of people each with unique skills, into a course design and development team” Ellis and Phelps (2000)

“Although it is possible for individual teachers to create entire courses on their own, this requires a tremendous time investment and willingness to learn about many aspects of instructional design and software implementation.  Most faculty would prefer to focus on the content aspects of a course and leave the rest to others” Kearsley (2000)

Theoretical Foundations

Cooperative and Collaborative Theory

  • Interpersonal and collaborative skills. Working together; brainstorming, reflection, and participation are encouraged.
  • Face-to-face interaction. With face-to-face interaction learning becomes dynamic. Team members discuss their ideas and make oral summarizations, while comprehending the value of individual differences and critical thinking. This element can be updated as technology has advanced to include digital interactions.
  • Beneficial interdependence. Team members value collaboration for the successful completion of a task, and the usefulness of team roles, and effective representation.
  • Individual responsibility. Collaboration aside, team members should sense their responsibility towards the group and comprehend the value of their contribution for the successful completion of a task.
  • Group interaction processing. Groups should learn how to interact and then evaluate their effectiveness and skills.


  • Instructional Designers
  • Graphic Designers
  • Media Specialists
  • Videographers
  • Subject Matter Expert
  • And many others!


  • The development phase is where the team create and assemble the learning elements that were discussed during the interact phase.
  • Each team member brings a different skill or knowledge base to the table during this phase. No one person needs to know everything or complete everything.
  • With each person supplying a different piece of the puzzle, the learning elements will emerge.

Theoretical Foundation

ADDIE Model – Development
The Development stage starts the production and testing of the methodology being used in the project. This phase includes three tasks, namely drafting, production and evaluation. Development thus involves creating and testing of learning elements.
Programmers work to develop and/or integrate technologies. Testers perform debugging procedures. The project is reviewed and revised according to any feedback given.


Below is a generic list of tools used in the development phase. Please be aware that this list is not all inclusive as many companies gravitate to specific tools for their business, audience, and capabilities.

  • Elearning Tools (i.e., Dreamweaver, Flash, Soundbooth, Media software, etc.)
  • Classroom Tools (i.e., Word, Framemaker, InDesign, Desktop Publishing software, etc.)
  • Graphic Tools (i.e., Photoshop, Fireworks, Paint, etc.)
  • Server Tools (i.e., Flash Media Server, database applications, etc.)


  • Let the learning process begin!
  • Types of engagement
    • Learner – Faculty
    • Learner – Content
    • Learner – Learner
  • This is the time when the learning element is used in teaching.
  • Engagement by the learners in a course can:
    • Recruit interest in the content
    • Sustain effort and persistence
    • Increase or motivate self-regulation

    Theoretical Foundations

    Universal Design for Learning – Multiple Means of Engagement

    • Affect represents a crucial element to learning, and learners differ markedly in the ways in which they can be engaged or motivated to learn.
    • There are a variety of sources that can influence individual variation in affect including neurology, culture, personal relevance, subjectivity, and background knowledge, along with a variety of other factors.
    • In reality, there is not one means of engagement that will be optimal for all learners in all contexts; providing multiple options for engagement is essential.


    • Textbook Mind Map
    • Inquiry Challenge
    • Voice Thread Discussion
    • Picture Window Activity
    • Wiki Building Resource Hunt
    • Journal Article Review
    • PPT – How Would You Share This Information with Your Colleagues?
    • Infograph
    • Create TED X video
    • Build a Case Study
    • Create a Radio Spot
    • Choose a Position and Defend It
    • Create an Informative Comic Strip
    • Learning Summary
    • Case Studies
    • Portfolios
    • Voice Threads
    • Videos
    • Discussions
    • Citrix
    • Augmented Reality
    • App Smashing


    • A framework for evaluating quality in online instruction.
    • Assessment asks:
      • “Are we teaching what we think we are teaching?”
      • “Are students learning what they are supposed to be learning?”
      • “Is there a way to improve this learning element?”
    • Assessment gives the team a way of evaluating how the learning element is performing – this could be based on student knowledge gain or student performance.
    • Assessment works best when it is ongoing, monitoring progress toward intended goals in a spirit of continuous improvement.

    Theoretical Foundations

    ADDIE Model – Evaluation
    Two Types:
    Formative evaluation: Runs parallel to the learning process and is meant to evaluate the quality of the learning element and its reception by the students. Formative evaluation can be separated into the following categories:

    • One-to-One Evaluation.
    • Small Group Evaluation.
    • Field Trial

    Summative Evaluation: Main goal – prove, once the course is finished, that the learning element had a positive effect.
    Donald Kirkpatrick Training Evaluation Model. Summative evaluation helps us find answers to the following questions:

    • Is continuing the learning element worthwhile?
    • How can the learning element be improved?
    • How can the effectiveness be improved?
    • How to make sure that the learning element corresponds to the learning strategy?
    • How can the value of the learning element be demonstrated?


    • Learning Analytics – ‘the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of data about learners and their contexts, for purposes of understanding and optimizing learning and the environments in which it occurs Long and Siemens (2011)
    • Stellenbosch study – an institution-wide approach to monitoring first-year students significantly improved student satisfaction and retention (van Schalkwyk 2010)
    • Personal Development Planning (PDP) in the UK reflects a growing trend towards student profiling that goes beyond academic transcripts to include soft skills and wider achievements.
    • Open SUNY – Pedagogy vs. technology, Flexibility vs. rigor, etc.
    • Quality Matters

    All-in-all I thought this was a great presentation, although I felt a little more practical application would have been better served to make this happen. Actual solutions often offered things many teachers could not do- such as request that courses begin over a semester in advance, etc. However, I thought it was well presented, on time and on task.

Changing Course Design: Building and Ensuring Quality Driven Courses

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At 9:00am On 11/7/16 I attended Changing Course Design: Building and Ensuring Quality Driven Courses presented by The opening Keynote Speaker Dr. Ryan Rucker at the 2016 USCA NDLW Virtual Conference.

Opening Keynote: Changing Course Design: Building and Ensuring Quality Driven Courses



This was really a very interesting start to the online conference. In fact, I’ve never really been part of an online conference in this manner before, so it was a great opportunity.

kewynote-ryan_ruckerDr. Ryan Ruckery Dr. Ryan Rucker is an instructor within the Department of Information Systems Technology at MTC. He has been teaching face-to-face and online computer networking/programming courses at various universities and colleges since June 2011. In addition, he has worked for over eight years in the information and educational technology fields. These positions include: Desktop Support Technician (USC), Instructional Systems Analyst (Georgia Regents University), Technical Trainer (SCDOT), and Senior Instructional Designer (USC). Dr. Rucker’s primary research interests involve technology adoption and investigating best practices in the online classroom.

In his opening remarks, Dr. Ryan Rucker lead with a fantastic statement: “Building quality driven courses is a major objective that many universities and colleges are requiring faculty and staff members to effectively implement.” How we got there was a mutlipart journey in which many schools took many approaches and more often than not ended with schools experiencing “implementation fatigue” with many ideas started, and few completed.

It is imperative for all university/college personnel to recognize that delivering up-to-date online courses will enhance the overall quality, scope, and reach of higher education. To ensure that a quality learning experience is provided to all learners, most universities/colleges have integrated the research-based Quality Matters (QM) rubric and review process as the underlining framework. While Quality Matters is a difficult thing for many schools to undertake, the benefits can be enormous. The Keynote investigated best practices and tips for faculty members and instructional designers/support staff who are considering developing new or enhancing current online courses. We also reviewed the QM standards and provide samples of effective assignments that can be easily implemented.

At Wake Technical Community College, the Quality Matters program was used as a stepping stone for the implementation of our own EPIC system. We’ve been through many of these processes, so I understand how difficult it can be to work through.