U of I’s Distance and Extended Education unit is adopting Quality Matters to guide our online course quality and review criteria. Here’s a quick rundown on why, and what this will mean going forward.
Why Quality Matters?
Thousands of colleges and universities worldwide subscribe to Quality Matters’ online course quality standards and peer review process. As DEE works to expand online program offerings, we want to use evidence-based, widely recognized quality assurance standards as a foundation to build on.
How will this impact instructors?
The Quality Matters rubric is similar to our previous Quality Framework criteria, so this changeover should have minimal impact for courses and programs that were recently reviewed. Going forward, we invite you to review the QM rubric and consider how your course aligns. You can also request our DEMO course to view an example of student-centered design. Plans are in the works to offer training videos and tools to help you meet specific standards.
What does this mean for students?
Learners will benefit from enhanced communication and engagement opportunities online, better time-management awareness, and a more consistent user experience.
What about Face-to-Face courses?
Quality Matters is designed specifically for online courses. It provides a tool to help align online courses with the same program and student learning outcomes expected in face-to-face courses.
UI also recently joined NC-SARA (National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement) to mitigate the many cross-state student education requirements for distance education. NC-SARA and the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities require online programs to be benchmarked for academic rigor and include vital pathways for student achievement.
Stay tuned for more developments as DEE gears up for an exciting 2016.