Quality Matters (QM) is a faculty-centered, peer review process that is designed to certify the quality of online and blended courses. Recently, the QM program recognized Senior Lecturer Barbara Pappas, Chemistry Department, for developing an online course that meets quality online course standards. This is the first eLearning course at Ohio State to earn this recognition.
The course, Chemistry and Society (CHEM 100D), an introductory course for non-majors, particularly arts and sciences students, is now listed on the Quality Matters web site as one of the courses to meet the QM standards and bears the Quality Matters seal.
To help develop the CHEM 100D as a hybrid, or blended face-to-face and online course, Pappas first received a 2008 Digital Union eLearning Expertise grant that included funding of up to $10,000, plus 20-100 hours of Digital Union support.
Pappas said, “I wanted an outside source to tell me I was doing was what should be done in distance learning. Probably the best thing that happened was getting a peer review—getting people to look at the course and the QM standards to see if I was adhering to them.” To view a video of Pappas describing her experience with the QM process, see streamwww.classroom.ohio-state.edu/flash/digitalunion/13001-1.
Quality Matters is a not-for-profit subscription service that provides a rubric and a process that academic institutions use for quality assurance and continuous improvement of online and hybrid courses. The QM process is a collegial process centered on a rubric consisting of eight general standards and 40 specific standards that are nationally recognized as reflecting a shared understanding of quality in online and hybrid course design. The rubric standards and research that support them are available at qmprogram.org/rubric.
The Quality Matters rubric can also be used to inform the course development process. Warren Flood, Assessment Coordinator for CFAES who is assisting in online course design, said, “As the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) at The Ohio State University employs strategies for the enhancement of educational programs through online and hybrid course delivery, we are attempting to create an eLearning community that will use the standards of the QM Rubric to advance and enhance the value of eLearning program offerings. The CFAES eLearning community will assist faculty in applying and incorporating the identified standards of the QM Rubric as they design electronically delivered academic programs and will encourage formal QM peer review of the resulting courses.”
The Digital Union, a division of the Office of the Chief Information Officer, underwrites the subscription to Quality Matters and makes it available for Ohio State faculty and staff. To learn more about how Quality Matters is being used at Ohio State and to gain access to the online QM rubric, contact Joni Tornwall, Ohio State’s QM institutional representative, at firstname.lastname@example.org.