The Quality Matters™ (QM) project, sponsored by MarylandOnline, Inc. (MOL) developed a rubric to guide the development and revision of online courses and a peer-based approach to quality assurance in online education. The QM rubric and process are based on national standards of best practice for online learning, review of literature on online courses, and sound instructional design principles. Unique to the QM process is the faculty-driven, collegial review process and the emphasis on continuous quality improvement. The QM process is not an evaluation process; it is a collegial review process. As such, the course developer is a part of the review team and process.
Critical course components are reviewed according to the QM rubric by the review team. The QM rubric is comprised of 40 standards assigned different point values based upon relative importance. 14 of the standards are considered essential in a quality online course. This is reflected by the highest point value (3) in the rubric. For a course to attain recognition, it must meet all of these essential standards and meet a percentage of the remaining standards. The remaining standards are assigned one or two points in the rubric. Courses are reviewed by a team of three reviewers. Participants will also meet monthly with others in the project and staff from Lifelong Learning.
Year One (Spring 2007)
For the spring semester, ten faculty members will receive training on the QM™ rubric and process and become MOL certified reviewers. Each faculty member, using expertise within project participants and Lifelong Learning will redesign an existing online course. This redesign, limited to one semester, will focus on the essential categories outlined in the QM rubric. Using skills learned through the QM process, project participants will review these modified courses. Participants will provide data to Lifelong Learning about the application of this process to TWU.
Year Two (Fall 2007)
Year two of the project will add 25 faculty members. Faculty will receive training on the QM Rubric and become MOL certified reviewers. This phase of the project will run from September 2007 – August 2008. Faculty will redesign one course to meet all standards found in the QM rubric. Participants will also review another course, according to the QM review process.
Year Three (Fall 2008)
Year three of the project will add 35 faculty members. Faculty will receive training on the QM Rubric and become MOL certified reviewers. This phase of the project will run from September 2007 – August 2008. Faculty will redesign one course to meet all standards found in the QM rubric. Participants will also review another course, according to the QM review process.
Manager, Instructional Design
Stoddard Hall, 306
Senior Instructional Design Specialist
Stoddard Hall, 306