Recently, the Instructional Technology Training Team in DELTA participated in an online training course delivered by Quality Matters (QM) on Applying the Quality Matters Rubric. Quality Matters is a nationally recognized program that assists in guiding faculty through the process of creating a high-quality online course. Based on our experience, we would like to share five tips from the QM process you can implement in your online or blended course today!
Tip 1: The importance of writing good objectives
The cornerstone of all good courses is writing specific measurable objectives, and online courses are no different. QM emphasizes the importance of course and module-level objectives in a course.
Tip 2: Alignment of Objectives, Content, Activities and Assessment
After you have created your objectives, it is important for you to align all of your content, activities and assessment in the course to an objective. This alignment needs to be transparent to students so they can see the purpose behind the activities and assessment in your class. This can be done with a simple table in Word to help you think through the process.
Tip 3: Importance of Communication
Students need to know the most effective ways and how to contact you and other support personnel. This information should be easy for students to find and not only in a syllabus. We recommend that you create a HTML block in Moodle with your information and place it on your main page. You can even include a picture of yourself!
Tip 4: Self-Assess with the QM Checklist
QM has a checklist that matches all of their standards. If you currently teach online and want to see what areas you might need the most work on, self-assessing with the checklist is a great first step.
Tip 5: Solicit Feedback from Peers
QM is based around a faculty peer assessment model. We highly recommend you solicit feedback from others in your field or faculty who also teach online. QM only evaluates the way your course is designed, not your interaction with students. You can easily copy your course to the project server for this purpose.
We will be offering several workshops this semester on course design in Moodle for both online and blended courses. There is also an opportunity for you to participate in our QM pilot for Spring 2018! Please email Bethanne Tobey (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are interested in participating.