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Do quality standards matter to students?Penny Ralston-BergThe Quality Matters Program 2nd Annual ConferenceJune 11, 2010http://www.slideshare.net/plr15
From their fingertips to our ears2300+, 31 institutions, 22 statesQualitative, preliminary surveyThrow light on how students perceive qualitySnapshot of trendsNot trying to predict behaviorLay groundwork for future quantitative studies
InstrumentConverted existing quality elements to student-centered languageHow important are these features to success in an online course?0 - Not at all important - does not contribute to my success1 - Important	2 - Very important	3 - Essential – could not succeed without it(Ragan & Sax, 2005)
DemographicsRange in age from 18 to 65+Range from 0 to 9+ courses completedMost comfortable or very comfortable with technologyMost have experienced only cohort-based or combo of cohort and some self-paced57% female59% employed full or part time64% taking at least 2 courses
25 Areas of studyAgriculture Architecture, Engineering, and Drafting Arts, Visual and PerformingBusiness and Finance Community and Social Services Computers and Math Construction and Extraction Education, Museum Work, and Library Science Environment Health Care Support, Diagnosis, Treatment, or Technology Humanities Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Law and Government Management Media and Communications Life and Physical Science Office and Administrative Support Personal Care and Culinary Services Production Protective Services Sales Social Science Sports and Fitness Technical Transportation
AgendaHow do students see quality?Are QM standards important to students?What do students say about quality?What else should we consider?Topics for more study
Quality online course?
Quality online course?
Holistic View of QualityOutside Course
Holistic View of Quality
Holistic View of Quality
Holistic View of Quality
Holistic View of Quality
Holistic View of Quality
Yes, quality mattersAgree – QM rubric items are importantMany QM 2,1 items => QM 3 itemsKnown effective course design practicesAdd valueContribute to qualityRelevance and alignment more important than specific media, tool, delivery mode
QM: Course Overview and Introduction
QM: Learning Objectives
Clear expectationsWhat’s due when -- and how to do it; “no surprises”Don’t assume we know how to do itConcise instructions with links to more detailed instructionsRealistic, reasonable workloadExpectations for instructor
QM: Assessment and Measurement
Opportunities to enhance learning
Opportunities to enhance learningDon’t repeat text / readings
Supplement with audio / video
Share expertise
Share alternate perspectives
Supplement with experts other than instructor
Explain and provide examplesOpportunities to enhance learningAutomated comprehension check (Do I “get” it?)
Access to tutor prior to assignment due date
Instructor answers questions about materials
Study group reviews materials
Feedback on draft assignments
Able to review example / exemplary assignments
FYI resourcesOpportunities to enhance learningGraded activities between exams (I’m on track / learning the material.)
Time to think between posts
Discuss work with instructor and peers
Study group debrief of graded activitiesOpportunities to enhance learningStudy guide provided / study group
Feedback on graded activities
Practice online exam (for comprehension and technical practice)
Resubmit assignments to improve grade based on detailed feedback
Feedback on activities received prior to assessmentOpportunities to enhance learningGrade as well as detailed feedback
See results of online exams
Chance to re-learn what I didn’t get the first time (Why did I lose points? What do I study to “get it?”)QM: Resources and Materials
Learning materialsMaterials accessible prior to course startMaterials designed specifically for courseDirect links to online resources – not generic site / list of articles / page of reserves Too many resources can dilute focus / clarify required vs. FYI
Learning materialsTutorials, examples, explanations; multiple ways to grasp the conceptExpert opinions other than instructor / multiple sources of research Relevant, thorough, important, up-to-dateDraws in current events; related to real world
QM: Resources and Materials / Media
QM: Learner Engagement - Activities
Course design activitiesMore than just reading and writing Activities:ChallengingPromote deeper understandingAnalysisCritical thinkingApplication to real world activities Don't assume student is already working in field
QM: Learner Engagement - Instructor
InstructorAlters teaching style for online courseAs active as students – “don't phone it in” Willing to answer questions immediately; relates materials to real worldStrong computer / technical skillsNew instructors receive mentoring from more experienced instructors Brings out the best in students
Instructor is not the authorStudents notice when an instructor:Doesn’t appear in videos, etc.Doesn’t have handle on grades / assignmentsNot familiar with materialsNot familiar with CMSDon’t appreciate, “Don’t blame me – I didn’t write this course.”
FeedbackTimelyRelevantDetailed, meaningful, helpfulJustifies the grade Tells me “where I'm at” or “how I'm doing” Constructive, positive“Good or bad - am I on the right track?”Given prior to assessments, future graded assignments
QM: Learner Engagement - Students
Student interactionOff-topic / open discussionNot simple post / post reply Meaningful, thought provoking questions Discuss what you've learned with someone other an professor “Wouldn't have opportunity to talk to as many people” if the class was face-to-faceDon’t like it – other students hold up my progress
Learner Engagement - Technology
QM: Course Technology
Convenient Technology Available 24/7 Works with all computer platforms / browsers / media players One password for everythingEmail works inside and outside the courseTools are established (not experimental)Portability; apps for handheld devices; import to calendarReal time text / IM / chat with instructor (to answer questions)Reach the professor at any convenience
QM: Learner Support
Support servicesComplete research online Contact proxy if instructor isn't available Access tutoring Prepare a job searchAccess the library Contact counselor / advisor / admissions Check status of financial aid Buy booksGet training on how to use course system
QM: Accessibility
Accessibility good for allWatch/listen, read online, or printUse handouts or transcripts to take notesReplay or print explanations / directionsFind specific points in video or audioCaptions: better understanding is speaker talks too fast or is difficult to understand
How do students see quality?Beyond course qualityLearning is an organic experienceTied with items inside and outside coursesTied to program and institution

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QM2010Keynote

  • 1. Do quality standards matter to students?Penny Ralston-BergThe Quality Matters Program 2nd Annual ConferenceJune 11, 2010http://www.slideshare.net/plr15
  • 2. From their fingertips to our ears2300+, 31 institutions, 22 statesQualitative, preliminary surveyThrow light on how students perceive qualitySnapshot of trendsNot trying to predict behaviorLay groundwork for future quantitative studies
  • 3. InstrumentConverted existing quality elements to student-centered languageHow important are these features to success in an online course?0 - Not at all important - does not contribute to my success1 - Important 2 - Very important 3 - Essential – could not succeed without it(Ragan & Sax, 2005)
  • 4. DemographicsRange in age from 18 to 65+Range from 0 to 9+ courses completedMost comfortable or very comfortable with technologyMost have experienced only cohort-based or combo of cohort and some self-paced57% female59% employed full or part time64% taking at least 2 courses
  • 5. 25 Areas of studyAgriculture Architecture, Engineering, and Drafting Arts, Visual and PerformingBusiness and Finance Community and Social Services Computers and Math Construction and Extraction Education, Museum Work, and Library Science Environment Health Care Support, Diagnosis, Treatment, or Technology Humanities Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Law and Government Management Media and Communications Life and Physical Science Office and Administrative Support Personal Care and Culinary Services Production Protective Services Sales Social Science Sports and Fitness Technical Transportation
  • 6. AgendaHow do students see quality?Are QM standards important to students?What do students say about quality?What else should we consider?Topics for more study
  • 9. Holistic View of QualityOutside Course
  • 15. Yes, quality mattersAgree – QM rubric items are importantMany QM 2,1 items => QM 3 itemsKnown effective course design practicesAdd valueContribute to qualityRelevance and alignment more important than specific media, tool, delivery mode
  • 16. QM: Course Overview and Introduction
  • 18. Clear expectationsWhat’s due when -- and how to do it; “no surprises”Don’t assume we know how to do itConcise instructions with links to more detailed instructionsRealistic, reasonable workloadExpectations for instructor
  • 19. QM: Assessment and Measurement
  • 21. Opportunities to enhance learningDon’t repeat text / readings
  • 25. Supplement with experts other than instructor
  • 26. Explain and provide examplesOpportunities to enhance learningAutomated comprehension check (Do I “get” it?)
  • 27. Access to tutor prior to assignment due date
  • 30. Feedback on draft assignments
  • 31. Able to review example / exemplary assignments
  • 32. FYI resourcesOpportunities to enhance learningGraded activities between exams (I’m on track / learning the material.)
  • 33. Time to think between posts
  • 34. Discuss work with instructor and peers
  • 35. Study group debrief of graded activitiesOpportunities to enhance learningStudy guide provided / study group
  • 36. Feedback on graded activities
  • 37. Practice online exam (for comprehension and technical practice)
  • 38. Resubmit assignments to improve grade based on detailed feedback
  • 39. Feedback on activities received prior to assessmentOpportunities to enhance learningGrade as well as detailed feedback
  • 40. See results of online exams
  • 41. Chance to re-learn what I didn’t get the first time (Why did I lose points? What do I study to “get it?”)QM: Resources and Materials
  • 42. Learning materialsMaterials accessible prior to course startMaterials designed specifically for courseDirect links to online resources – not generic site / list of articles / page of reserves Too many resources can dilute focus / clarify required vs. FYI
  • 43. Learning materialsTutorials, examples, explanations; multiple ways to grasp the conceptExpert opinions other than instructor / multiple sources of research Relevant, thorough, important, up-to-dateDraws in current events; related to real world
  • 44. QM: Resources and Materials / Media
  • 45. QM: Learner Engagement - Activities
  • 46. Course design activitiesMore than just reading and writing Activities:ChallengingPromote deeper understandingAnalysisCritical thinkingApplication to real world activities Don't assume student is already working in field
  • 47. QM: Learner Engagement - Instructor
  • 48. InstructorAlters teaching style for online courseAs active as students – “don't phone it in” Willing to answer questions immediately; relates materials to real worldStrong computer / technical skillsNew instructors receive mentoring from more experienced instructors Brings out the best in students
  • 49. Instructor is not the authorStudents notice when an instructor:Doesn’t appear in videos, etc.Doesn’t have handle on grades / assignmentsNot familiar with materialsNot familiar with CMSDon’t appreciate, “Don’t blame me – I didn’t write this course.”
  • 50. FeedbackTimelyRelevantDetailed, meaningful, helpfulJustifies the grade Tells me “where I'm at” or “how I'm doing” Constructive, positive“Good or bad - am I on the right track?”Given prior to assessments, future graded assignments
  • 52. Student interactionOff-topic / open discussionNot simple post / post reply Meaningful, thought provoking questions Discuss what you've learned with someone other an professor “Wouldn't have opportunity to talk to as many people” if the class was face-to-faceDon’t like it – other students hold up my progress
  • 53. Learner Engagement - Technology
  • 55. Convenient Technology Available 24/7 Works with all computer platforms / browsers / media players One password for everythingEmail works inside and outside the courseTools are established (not experimental)Portability; apps for handheld devices; import to calendarReal time text / IM / chat with instructor (to answer questions)Reach the professor at any convenience
  • 57. Support servicesComplete research online Contact proxy if instructor isn't available Access tutoring Prepare a job searchAccess the library Contact counselor / advisor / admissions Check status of financial aid Buy booksGet training on how to use course system
  • 59. Accessibility good for allWatch/listen, read online, or printUse handouts or transcripts to take notesReplay or print explanations / directionsFind specific points in video or audioCaptions: better understanding is speaker talks too fast or is difficult to understand
  • 60. How do students see quality?Beyond course qualityLearning is an organic experienceTied with items inside and outside coursesTied to program and institution
  • 61. What Else?Everything matchesConsistency:Style within a courseAcross coursesAcross institution
  • 62. What Else?Planning toolsFlexibilityAffective considerationsStudent motivationAfter the class ends
  • 63. Planning toolsAccess to full course and assignments from the start of the course Progress checksWhat should I be working on each day? (not just due dates) Able to monitor grade at all times Measure my own strengths and weaknesses Timeline for instructor grading Access to other courses for future planning
  • 64. FlexibilityOpportunity / access to education Flexible due dates; extensionsSet my own due datesFinish early, turn in assignments earlyWindows of time to complete online assessments My objectives may be different than course objectives
  • 65. Affective considerations“Where the instructor was less involved, I felt lost…” Courteous instructors Receive encouragement Fairness Atmosphere of community; camaraderieAccountability Instructor cares about my success Feel instructor's guidance and leadership Gives same sense of satisfaction as in-person class Can be myself in discussions
  • 66. Student motivationSelf-discipline Time managementWilling to learn and participate “A quality online course is full of people who are there and want to be there and want to participate and learn the most that they can from the experience.”
  • 67. After the class endsClassmates interact outside the course / make connections in industry Application of material learnedDegree / certificationSatisfaction Sense of accomplishment Learned something that could be used in career
  • 68. Continued studyDifferences between:Age groupsNumber of online courses completedComfort with technologyMedia choicesOthers?
  • 69. Do quality standards matter to students?Encourage effective design practicesAdd valueContribute to qualityMaterials provide flexibility, choice, convenience; learn in different waysRelevance and alignment more important than specific media, tool, or deliveryYes, solid foundation in holistic system
  • 70. Thank you!Questions?Contact info: PLR15@psu.edu LinkedInPresentation online at:http://www.slideshare.net/plr15
  • 71. ReferencesGarrison, D.R. & Arbaugh, J.B. (2007). Researching the community of Inquiry Framework: Review, Issues, and Future Directions. The Internet and Higher Education, 10(3), 157-172.Legon, R. (2006). Comparison of the Quality Matters rubric to accreditation standards for distance learning. Retrieved January 14, 2008, from http://www.qualitymatters.org/Documents/Comparison%20of%20the%20Quality%20Matters%20Rubric%20-%20Summary.pdfNorth American Council for Online Learning (NACOL). (2008). NACOL National standards for quality online  teaching. Retrieved May 1, 2009, from http://www.inacol.org/resources/nationalstandards/index.phpQuality Matters rubric standards 2008-2010 edition with assigned pointvalues. (2008). Retrieved May 1, 2009, from http://qminstitute.org/home/Public%20Library/About%20QM/RubricStandards2008-2010.pdfRagan, L. & Sax, C. (2005). Defining and implementing quality assurance standards for online courses. Presentation at EDUCAUSE Annual Conference, Orlando, FL. 
  • 72. ReferencesRalston-Berg, P. & Nath, L. (2008). What makes a quality online course? The student perspective. Paper presented at Annual Conference on Distance Teaching and Learning, Madison, WI.Research literature and standards sets support for quality matters review standards. (2005). Retrieved January 14, 2008, from http://www.qualitymatters.org/Documents/Matrix%20of%20Research%20Standards%20FY0506.pdfStodel, E. J. Thompson, T. L. & McDonald, C. (2006).  Learners' perspectives on what is missing from online learning: Interpretations through the community of inquiry framework. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 7(3), 1­24. Universal Design Education Online: http://www.udeducation.org/Young, A. & Norgard, C. (2006). Assessing the quality of online courses from the students’ perspective.  Internet and Higher Education, 9, 107­115.

Editor's Notes

  1. Outside: 3rd party tools not included with cms, guest experts, research, resources, colleagues who have taken the course – anything outside the core design, materials, and instructor experience
  2. Outside: 3rd party tools not included with cms, guest experts, research, resources, colleagues who have taken the course – anything outside the core design, materials, and instructor experience
  3. Outside: 3rd party tools not included with cms, guest experts, research, resources, colleagues who have taken the course – anything outside the core design, materials, and instructor experience
  4. Outside: 3rd party tools not included with cms, guest experts, research, resources, colleagues who have taken the course – anything outside the core design, materials, and instructor experience
  5. Outside: 3rd party tools not included with cms, guest experts, research, resources, colleagues who have taken the course – anything outside the core design, materials, and instructor experienceOutside program: student communities, LinkedIn, job search resources, professional colleagues
  6. Outside: 3rd party tools not included with cms, guest experts, research, resources, colleagues who have taken the course – anything outside the core design, materials, and instructor experienceOutside program: student communities, LinkedIn, job search resources, professional colleagues
  7. QM 1 just as important as QM 3. Introducing myself doesn’t have as much importance.
  8. Instructions on how to meet the objectives rank higher than the learning objectives themselves.