How do you know your online course is meeting the needs of your students?

Do you ever wonder if there is a way to receive feedback on your online courses? Quality Matters (QM), is a nation-wide, faculty-centered, peer review process designed to certify the quality of online courses and online components.
The QM Rubric includes 8 standards to improve your course:

  1. Course Overview and Introduction
  2. Learning Objectives (Competencies)
  3. Assessment and Measurement
  4. Instructional Materials
  5. Learning Activities and Learner Interaction
  6. Course Technology
  7. Learner Support
  8. Accessibility and Usability

Within these standards are specific action steps that you can use today to enhance your online course. These include:

  • Organizing your course materials into modules, units, or topics so that your content is easier for your students to navigate
  • Providing messages on the front page of your course to welcome your students to your course and guide them on where to begin
  • Linking to the Online Learner Support page within MyCanvas Student website with many of the on-campus resources that students need to succeed in your course.

CELT at Iowa State University subscribes to QM. As such you have the opportunity to improve your course, network with fellow QM users, and streamline accreditation preparation.

  • Online Course Improvement: CELT offers two on-campus QM workshops to learn the underlying principles of QM and help you review your own courses and develop a course improvement plan.
  • Canvas Course Templates: CELT has developed a Canvas Template that helps to meet many of the Quality Matters standards. Even if you are not interested in QM Certification, this template can help to organize your online course materials and give you a head start on your Canvas course creation
  • Network with Fellow QM Users: Join the Quality Matters Learning Community in which members will have opportunities to hear about ways to meet the QM standards, as well as discussing best practices, experiences, and solutions to course design problems. No prior QM experience is needed to attend. We hope that you will join us for our first meeting on Sept. 19 (3-4:30 p.m.), register via Learn@ISU.
  • Assistance with Streamlining Online Course Accreditation Preparation: If your program, department, or unit is undergoing accreditation, QM provides an in-depth Program Certification process. It provides a framework for the collection and analysis of evidence related to an institution’s online programs – the same evidence that can be used to support accreditation. For information regarding online program accreditation and QM, please visit QM’s Streamlining Accreditation Preparation with Program Review page.

A previous participant sung the praises of CELT QM Coordinator Darrin Jones and the program:

“Darrin knows the QM material very well and is able to present it in a highly practical and orderly manner to make the best use of our time in the workshop. The mix of presenting information and giving time to review our own course materials worked very well. I especially appreciated the final worksheet that brought all of the information together into a prioritized “To Do” list for our own courses. I highly recommend this workshop for anyone teaching an online course.”

If you are interested in seeing the QM Canvas Template, or if you have any questions regarding Quality Matters, please visit the On-Campus Quality Matters Workshop page, or contact Darrin Jones in CELT via email darrinj@iastate.edu or call 515-294-6072.

Best wishes,
Sara Marcketti
Director, CELT


Full Teaching Tip

View the published CELT Teaching Tip: How do you know your online course is meeting the needs of your students? (September 6, 2018 – Constant Contact) website.

Prefer a Print version?

To view the Teaching Tip as a printable document with web addresses, download the Teaching Tip September 6 (PDF)