Quality Matters Peer review process to certify quality of online course design Launched in 2003 by MarylandOnline with funding from a FIPSE grant Self-sustaining in 2006 Offers subscription memberships to colleges and universities Institutional members request peer review for their online courses
How It Works Quality Matters is a quality improvement process that is continuous, collegial, and collaborative. Peer review team 3 QM certified peer reviewers including: 1 master reviewer 1 content expert Uses rubric comprising eight standards of quality instructional design
8 Standards Course overview & introduction Learning objectives Assessment & measurement Resources & materials Learner engagement Course technology Learner support Accessibility Critical course components must be aligned
Course Overview and Introduction Provide clear instructions for getting started. Organize your site so that it is easy to understand and navigate. Make the entire course available at beginning of semester. Give your students opportunities for practice with the technology. Provide information about yourself. Ask students to introduce themselves to one another.
Syllabus Course overview and rationale Required readings Assignment descriptions Assignment point distribution Schedule Course policies Tips for success
Online Student Success Manage your time effectively. Cultivate good study habits and practices. Recognize and develop an appropriate set of technology skills. Develop and follow a set of good research practices and policies. Know how to communicate effectively online.
Learning Objectives What will your students be able to do … At the end of the course? At the end of each unit of instruction? Learning objective should be: Observable Measurable What are you observing and measuring? Skills Attitudes Knowledge
Bloom's Taxonomy Higher Order Learning Lower Order Learning
Some Examples Discuss theories of distance education. Understand the structures and purposes of basic components of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. Describe advantages and disadvantages of electronic health record systems. Explain the relationship between systems theory and information.
Backward Design “Given a task to be accomplished, how do we get there?” -- Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe Understanding by Design (1998) Identify desired results. Determine acceptable evidence. Plan learning experiences and instruction.
Backward Design Objectives Activities Assessments
Assessment for Online Learning Forces impacting assessment practices in online learning: Separation of student from instructor Authentic assessment
Academic Integrity Is cheating easier online? Both college students and faculty believe it is easier in distance learning courses (Kennedy et al. 2000) College student self-reports of cheating for online learning no higher than f2f (Grijalva, Kerkvliet, & Nowell, 2006) Very little change in cheating rates over 20 years (Vandehay, Diekhoff, & LaBeff, 2007)
Assessment Continuum Q&A discussion board Blog Response paper Research paper 2 3 4 1 Formal High-stakes Time for planning Revised & polished Graded Summative Informal Low-stakes Short time frame No revision Not graded Formative
Traditional Assessments Use features of your course management system to make use of: Large pool of test items Randomized selection of items Randomized selection of item response order Timed tests Use proctored exams for major summative assessments. Devise a backup plan for technology failure.
Authentic Assessments Field work Concept mapping Portfolio assessment Group work Online discussion To reduce academic misconduct: Use cumulative assignments that build on one another. Benchmark student writing ability. Employ plagiarism detection strategies. Incorporate personal experiences. Ask for connections to timely, current events.
General Assessment Strategies Define cheating and plagiarism. State and enforce explicit policies. Create community environment. Develop meaningful assessments. Vary assessment types.
Assessments? Identify parts of a sonnet. Assess an individual’s health with an emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention. Select media to address a specific visual art problem.
Content Presentation Readings Electronic resources from textbook publisher Text Video Audio Learning objects PowerPoint
PowerPoint Keep presentations short. Make bulleted items clear. Leave ample white space. Use colors that provide adequate contrast for reading. Use appropriate resolution and sizing for images. Be sure charts and graphs can be read comfortably. Remember copyright issues. Script your narration. Check out Audacity and Jing.
Powerpoint is most effective for conveying information in visual images like charts, graphs, diagrams, photos, schematics.
Choose alternative media when information is primarily text-based.
Use to supplement rather than recapitulate required reading.
Active Learning Discussion board Wikis Blogs Web site exploration Web 2.0 activities
Discussion Board Questions Convergent questions have a right answer Divergent questions require interpretation
Discussion Board Instructions Please post your initial response within the first three days of the week. Respond to at least two of your classmate’s postings. Keep in mind that a meaningful response will usually entail introducing some new information or insight into the discussion. When you make reference to a body of work, please provide the citation. While it is fine to express agreement with a posting or ask for elaboration, a meaningful response must go beyond that type of rejoinder. Your discussion grade will be based on the timeliness of your postings, the substance of your participation, and the degree to which it extends the group discussion.
Web Site Exploration Give students a goal that you know will expose them to what you want them to see. Use principles of scavenger hunt.
Web 2.0 Current generation of World Wide Web tools used to enable social and participatory activity (Anderson, 2007) Sometimes used interchangeably with the terms “social software” and “social media”
Technology Selection Learning objectives should guide technology selection. When multiple technologies can be used to meet learning objectives, use variety. In choosing technologies for your course, consider: Your level of expertise Your students’ level of expertise Students’ access to technology Institutional support for particular technology
Technology Alignment Systems analysis term project with archive of project artifacts Guest presentation about harm reduction for intravenous drug users Pronunciation practice in second language learning Reflection on pre-service teaching experience
Learner Support New student orientation Student advising Course evaluations Student satisfaction surveys Community building activities Course checkpoints like assignment submission and exam performance Technology help desk Library services
Accessibility All course Web pages should be accessible to individuals with disabilities Syllabus includes a statement about how students with disabilities can request accommodations
Managing the Workload Course design takes time. First time teaching is also time consuming. Use these strategies to manage the workload: Complete course design by beginning of semester. Develop rubrics. Make students aware of your policies for responding to email. Create FAQs. Develop naming and organization standards for your digital files.