About a month ago I attended the 8th Annual Quality Matters Conference in Portland, OR. This conference offers a number of opportunities for faculty, staff, and administration people involved in online and blended learning to learn more about the Quality Matters rubrics and how to use them to help improve course design.
I attended a couple of half-day pre-conference workshops and a number of conference sessions on topic ranging from methods for implementing the QM rubrics on campus to strategies for making specific types of course improvements. I learned quite a bit but I came away from the conference with three major take-aways:
- Morningside’s online programs are in good position to begin utilizing the Quality Matters rubrics in both course design and in creating quality assurance processes.
- Morningside faculty are perhaps unusually willing to explore the potential uses of the Quality Matters rubrics. Many people I spoke to expressed difficulty in having engaged faculty in the process. Morningside’s faculty seem very willing to engage in this process.
- A clear plan needs to be envisioned to assess the impact of implementing the QM rubrics here. Notably, meaningful metrics need to be identified and measured.
So what is on the horizon with Quality Matters and Morningside College? I am currently in conversations with the leadership in the three online programs at Morningside (Grad Ed, Grad Nursing, and Organizational Management) to create implementation plans that makes sense for each of those online programs. A primary focus of these plans will be on faculty development and use of the rubrics for course development/design and peer-review of courses.
If faculty are interested in how they might use the Quality Matter’s rubrics in their own courses (online or FtF) please feel free to contact me and have a conversation about how this might be a useful resource for you. Or you can listen to a recent Ed Tech development session where a few of the undergraduate faculty who piloted using the rubrics in their summer online courses found using these rubrics.