Quality Matters for Online Instruction

Quality Matters (QM) logo

What is it?

Quality Matters™ (QM) is a peer-review process for providing feedback and guidance for online course design.  According to the QM website, it originated from the MarylandOnline Consortium project in 2003. They received a grant from the US Department of Education to create a rubric and review process based on research and best practices.  In 2014, it became its own nonprofit organization.  Through a subscription service, the organization now provides training, resources, conference events, and research collaborations.  They currently have 5000 QM certified reviewers to assist subscribers with the peer review process of their online courses.

Who uses it?

QM provides specific rubrics and guidelines for the quality assurance review process for K-12, higher education, publishers, and continuing education programs that offer distance education.  QM has a new program to bring the rubric and process to students.  The QM process is specifically for hybrid and fully online courses; it’s not for web-enhanced face-to-face courses.  QM currently has 900 subscribers.  Subscription prices are adjusted to the size of your online programs.

How does it work?

A subscribing institution (or individual) requests a QM review of their course and submits an application.  QM recommends that you familiarize yourself with the rubric through the training process in advance of the review.  They also recommend that the course for review not be new—that it has been through a few semesters to work out the bugs.  A QM coordinator for your course assigns you a team of reviewers consisting of a team leader and two other certified peer reviewers, one of which is an subject matter expert.  They read your self-report about the course and review your course using the rubric and guidelines.  The rubric covers these general standards: 1. Course Overview & Introduction, 2. Learning Objectives (Competencies), 3. Assessment & Measurement, 4. Instructional Materials, 5. Course Activities & Learner Interaction, 6. Course Technology, 7. Learner Support, and 8. Accessibility & Usability.  The team contacts you with questions throughout the 4-6 week process.  Then they present you with your evaluation with time to address any major issues before finalizing the report.

What are the benefits?

Those courses that pass the review process receive recognition on the QM website.  Even if you meet the standards, the peer reviewers provide you with recommendations for further improvements.  Instructors can use this feedback for other courses they teach or debrief with colleagues about it.  This serves as an ongoing continuous improvement process.  This is something that institutions can promote to their clients and instructors can add to the curriculum vitae.  From personal experience in becoming a QM certified peer reviewer, I can attest to the benefits of knowing the best practices and accessibility requirements for online course design.  It has helped me to become a better online instructor and provided me with a wealth of knowledge for my work as an instructional designer.  I’m grateful to the Innovation in Learning Center at the University of South Alabama for training me on the QM process and providing the opportunity to become a certified peer reviewer.

SITE Conference Day 2: My Itinerary for PD

I finally decided on the presentations to attend on Wednesday.

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

  • 8:30 AM-9:45 AM: General Session, Paper Awards & Keynote: Larysa Nadolny Iowa State University, EPIC WIN: Designing for success with game-based learning
  • 10:15-10:45 AM in Scarbrough 1: What Features We Like When We Like Educational Games, Spencer Greenhalgh, Matthew Koehler Liz Owens Boltz
  • 10:45 AM-11:15 AM in Regency F: Establishing Presence and Community in the Online ClassroomBrianne Leigh Moore-Adams & Sarah Warnick
  • 11:50 AM-12:10 PM in Scarbrough 1:  Applying Conceptual Change Model in the Professional Development for Online FacultyLa Tonya Dyer & Liyan Song
  • 12:10-12:30 PM in Verelst: I’m Just A Blog, Yes I’m Only a Blog: Educating Teachers to Develop Students’ Skills in Digital Rhetoric Teresa Marie Kelly Barbara Green
  • 12:30 PM-1:45 PM in Harborside Center: Universal Design for Learning SIG (TEC)
  • 1:45 PM-2:45 PM in Harborside Center: Developing Google Certified Educators in Undergraduate Teacher Education, Ryan Visser &  D. Matthew Boyer
  • 1:45 PM-2:45 PM in Harborside Center: Investigating the Impact of Gamified Learning on Post-Secondary Education Student’s Ability to Self-Regulate their LearningStein Brunvand & David Hill
  • 1:45 PM-2:45 PM in Harborside Center: Use of Piktochart to Enhance Teacher Action ResearchHeather Leaman, Connie DiLucchio & Michelle Fisher
  • 3:00 PM-4:00 PM in Regency AB: Establishing STEAM Technology/Maker Labs in Colleges of Education: Challenges, Opportunities, and Lessons Learned, Jonathan Cohen,  Monty Jones & Shaunna Smith
  • 4:15 PM-5:15 PM in Harborside Center: Evaluation of Faculty Boot Camp Professional Development for Online Course Instruction,Barbara Duchardt,  Paula Furr, Steve Horton &  Ronald McBride
  • 5:30 PM-7:00 PM in Harborside Center: Saudi ELLs’ Digital Gameplay Habits and Effects on Second Language AcquisitionSandra Rogers (me) & Burke Johnson

Free Professional Development with the Electronic Village Online

(This is a repost of the EVO2015 Call for Participation from Nina Liakos.)

Dear EFL/ESL Educator,

Since 2001, the Electronic Village Online, a project of TESOL’s CALL Interest Section, has been offering free online professional development sessions to language teachers world-wide. It is my pleasure to announce the Call for Participation for the Electronic Village Online (EVO) 2015. This year, we are offering 13 fabulous five-week sessions on a variety of topics, including teaching pronunciation, using Moodle, creating electronic textbooks, flipped learning, making Machinima in Second Life, using Minecraft to teach English, and more.

For a complete listing and abstracts, visit the Call for Participation at http://evosessions.pbworks.com. To enroll in a session, follow the instructions on the session page.  Please note that registration for the sessions will take place from January 5 – January 11, 2015. The sessions begin on January 12 and continue until February 15. To register for a session, follow the instructions on that session’s page (Session pages are linked to the CfP.).

EVO sessions are free (you usually need only a computer with Internet access and a desire to learn) and open to all, whether or not you are a TESOL member. They carry no academic credit, and participants may choose the level of involvement that works for them.  Mark your calendars now for EVO registration, January 5 – 11. And get ready for an unforgettable experience!

Please share this invitation with your colleagues and e-lists, and thank you for helping us to spread the word!

 

Nina Liakos, EVO Lead Coordinator

On behalf of the EVO Coordination Team

Note: Read more about EVO from my previous blog posts.

My Presentation Schedule at AACE World e-Learn Conference

I’m very excited to be going to the AACE conference for the first time. AACE stands for the Association for Advancement of Computing in Education.  They’re hosting the World e-Learn conference in New Orleans, LA at the Sheraton Hotel on Canal Street!  Here’s my presentation schedule:

October 28th at 10:00-11:00: How to Make Your Online Course Accessible, a roundtable on how to meet ADA requirements will take place in the Gallery along with many other roundtable conversations in the same room.

October 28th at 11:55-12:15: Trace Effects Logic Model, a brief paper on an informal program theory evaluation in Salon 828. I’ll also be serving as the presider over the other sessions until 1:00 p.m. in this room.

October 28th at 1:30-1:50: Effective Online Communication in Higher Education, research findings and their practical applications in the Grand Ballroom E.

October 29th at 3:05-3:25: Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORGs) for Second Language Acquisition, a brief paper on my literature review findings in the Edgewood room.

I hope to see you there! I’ll be volunteering at the registration desk on Monday from 1-5 p.m. and Thursday from 7:30-11:30 a.m. Come by to say hello! I’ll be tweeting about the conference @teacherrogers with the hastag #elearn. Afterward, I’ll create a Padlet virtual wall with all of my presentations, photos, and tidbits I learn at the conference.

Sandra Rogers

P.S. This was my 100th blog post!

Photo of Sandra Annette Rogers

Join me at the Midsouth Educational Research Association conference in Pensacola!

Photo of Sandra Annette Rogers
Find me at the conference and say hello!

The Midsouth Educational Research Association (MSERA) will be hosting their annual meeting in Pensacola on November 6-8th, 2013. I’ll be speaking about my research on gaming as an instructional strategy for young children and effective online communication for higher education. In addition, I will present a poster session on TESOL’s Electronic Village Online (EVO) to share how my other professional organization trains English language teachers worldwide for free through a volunteer network and online collaborative processes.

Here’s the conference program: . This is a relatively inexpensive conference in comparison to the national ones. For example, nonmember rates are $150 for professionals and $90 for students the day of the event. Of course it’s best to become a member (or to preregister). Here a link to the registration form: http://msera.org/download/reg13.pdf

Here is my schedule of presentations and poster sessions: ( Note: The links will take you to my PowerPoints on SlideShare.)

Sincerely,

Sandra Rogers

P.S. I posted all of my conference handouts and photos on padlet: http://padlet.com/wall/teacherrogers

P.S.S. I plan to make two presentations at the MSERA 2015 conference in Lafayette, LA on Nov. 4-6 on gaming!

My Workshop Schedule

Photo taken by Sandra Rogers

I’d like to share my schedule of face-to-face workshops that I’ll be giving this school year. I work at the Innovation in Learning Center (ILC) at the University of South Alabama. They host ongoing professional development workshops for faculty and staff for online teaching.  I work for the ILC as a graduate research assistant. My work includes designing, developing, and delivering professional development to faculty to support student learning. If you live in the Mobile area and work at an institution of higher education, you are welcome to attend one of these workshops. Additionally, graduate students in instructional design and development at USA can attend, as long as they register in advance. There are many more listed at the ILC website.

My 2013-2014 Training Schedule at the ILC:

  •  Making Instructional Videos with Camtasia Relay:  Innovation in Learning Center, University of South Alabama, 9/6/13
  • How to Make Your Online Course Accessible: Innovation in Learning Center, University of South Alabama​, 9/19/13
  • Sakai 101: Gradebook, Tests & Quizzes: Innovation in Learning Center, University of South Alabama​, 9/20/13
  • Sakai 101: Gradebook, Tests & Quizzes: Innovation in Learning Center, University of South Alabama​,​ 10/11/13
  • Making Instructional Videos with Camtasia Relay: Innovation in Learning Center, University of South Alabama, 10/23/13
  • Emergent Technologies: Innovation in Learning Center, University of South Alabama​, 10/30/13
  • Sakai 101: Gradebook, Tests & Quizzes: Innovation in Learning Center, University of South Alabama​, 12/3/13
  • Sakai 101: Communication Tools: Innovation in Learning Center, University of South Alabama​, 12/12/13
  • Sakai 101: Gradebook, Tests & Quizzes: Innovation in Learning Center (ILC), University of South Alabama (USA)​, 12/18/13
  • Making Instructional Videos with Camtasia Studio, ILC, USA, 2/3/14
  • How to Make Your Online Course Accessible: ILC, USA​, 3/31/14
  • iClickers, ILC, USA, 4/15/14
  • Sakai 101: Gradebook, Tests & Quizzes: ILC, USA, 5/30/14
  • StudyMate Author: ILC, USA, 6/16/14

 

Sandra Rogers

Synopsis: Managing Scarce Resources in Training Projects

Presenter at white screen giving a presentation
Professional Development

Note: Part III in a series on instructional design articles. This photo was taken of Sandra at the Juvenile Justice Education Institute during her presentation.

According to Goldsmith and Busby, effective management decisions are based on an understanding of resource scarcity and supply and demand. There are three types of resources: people, time, and money. Scarcity occurs when the demand exceeds the supply. Supply and demand refer to an economic condition. Understanding the economic cycle between supply and demand is important for an instructional designer. For example, they should be aware of the stages of an economic cycle: growth, peak, decline, and trough. They also need to know what solutions organizations will take to address economic changes and how these will affect the overall performance of an organization and each individual.

The authors described the various characteristics of an economic cycle. For example, we are currently in an unstable environment because of the fluctuations in the stock market, the volatile housing market, and high unemployment.  This is the dynamic cycle of our economy that affects every organization.  The cycles are difficult to predict and are unclear until after much time has passed, and the stages have been plotted. Hence, the economic cycle is unsmooth and can cause lag (good lag and bad lag) for a training program, a new products invention, or with the new technology purchases.  An example of a bad lag in the economic cycle would be the economic dissonance of creating a new product when the demand has already waned.

Goldsmith, J. J., & Busby, R. D. (2012). Managing scarce resources in training projects. In R. A. Reiser & J. V. Dempsey (Eds.) Trends & issues in instructional design & technology (3rd ed.). (pp. 126-134). Columbus, OH: Merrill-Prentice Hall.

EVO: A Collaborative Professional Development Project

Join Your Professional Organization

(This blog was previously posted in 2010 on Blogging4Broke, a nonprofit career advice blog.)

My professional association

A simple and dynamic way to reconnect with your career choice is to join the professional organization associated with that type of job. For example, I’m an educator who specializes in teaching English, as a second language. The professional organization associated with my career is called TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). For less than 100 dollars, I renewed my TESOL membership. Since then I’ve been able to learn about the latest research in the field, training opportunities, and job announcements.

When I first joined, they asked me to select from various interest sections, email listserves. I signed up for several and was flooded with emails. Then I went back and revised my areas of interest to get more specific information that pertained to my needs. That’s when I read an announcement from an individual looking for assistance in moderating an online, volunteer TESOL professional development session of the Computer-assisted Language Learning Interest Section (CALL-IS). I responded immediately and took the necessary moderator training to teach the session. I taught the six-week session and felt pleased to be a part of my professional organization once again, even as a volunteer.

Secondly, you often feel isolated from peer interaction when you’re looking for work. By joining TESOL, I connected with peers from around the world via the listserve, training, and now through teaching. I’ve learned from my peers via informal training, and also took a formal course offered for a certificate program. It’s been wonderful to add new technology skills and reevaluate my teaching methodology to include that of the online facilitator. Furthermore, the experience forced me to revise my job search documents related to my teaching philosophy, resume, and cover letter.

Thirdly, professional organizations provide you with access to conferences regionally, nationally, and internationally. Most professional conferences hold a job market during the convention. Last spring, TESOL, offered reduced rates on what they called their “stimulus plan.” TESOL plans to offer membership deals in the future. Perhaps your profession offers reduced costs to attend their conferences or free webinars. You won’t know until you investigate. At least, look into joining an organization and read about their perks on the membership page. Maybe you think that $95 is too expensive right now since you’re unemployed…I’m here to tell you that it has really paid off as an investment in my career.

Furthermore, the mentor of our online training asked the trainees if anyone would be interested in presenting on the volunteer experience and the outcome of the session at the TESOL conference. Once again, I jumped at the opportunity and used my airline rewards miles to travel to the conference for free. While I was at the conference, I also collected free resources, volunteered, and attended as many presentations as possible. Plus, I was able to reconnect with former employers! This series of events came about simply by renewing my membership with my professional organization. I urge you to do the same. Good luck!

Here’s a link to the various TESOL Interest Sections: http://www.tesol.org/s_tesol/sec_document.asp?CID=161&DID=550

Sandra Annette Rogers

EVO Article in TESOL Italy Newsletter