Quality Matters at Iowa State University

The Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) has integrated Quality Matters as part of the professional development programming offered to faculty and staff who are interested in enhancing their teaching effectiveness and student learning. Although the focus of QM Rubric is online courses, the tenets that comprise the rubric are sound pedagogical approaches that support course design for any type of course.

What is Quality Matters?

Quality Matters (QM) is a nationally recognized peer review and certification process in which online course design is evaluated by a panel of external reviewers against eight specific standards of quality outlined in the QM Rubric. These standards emphasize: the course overview and introduction; learning goals and objectives; assessment of student learning; instructional materials; course activities and learner interaction; technology; learner support; and accessibility and usability.

Each standard consists of a set of sub-standards and each is assigned a value depending on its impact on the overall course design. For the course to carry the official QM mark of certification, the design should meet the QM expectations at a minimum of 85%. This means scoring 84 points out of 99 possible, and receiving full credit for all essential, high impact standards.

The most significant benefits of using the QM Rubric standards in course design include:

  1. Helping instructors understand how the course is experienced by learners.
  2. Ensuring course learning objectives are clearly aligned with activities, assessments and instructional technologies in ways that promote meaningful student interaction and engagement.
  3. Requiring the incorporation of universal design for learning principles that promote diverse ways in which students learn and apply their knowledge and skills.

QM also offers online professional development opportunities as an important aspect of a quality assurance effort.

Quality Matters Tracks for Faculty Development at Iowa State University

CELT has developed a 4-track framework to help faculty to engage with the QM content. Faculty can either complete the tracks sequentially or complete any given track they deem appropriate based on their current teaching and learning needs. Each track includes recommended and elective components and each has a deliverable that will result in concrete course design improvements. In addition to track-based deliverables, instructors may also accomplish broader outcomes such official, external QM course certification, or completing a scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) project.

At an institutional level, implementing the QM framework for online learning will foster establishment of an institutional culture for quality online/blended course design, development of and participation in shared dialogue about quality online teaching and learning both internal to ISU and external, and a growing group of faculty and staff (P&S and Merit) engaged in quality online education efforts.
Quality Matters (QM) Tracks at Iowa State University

Quality Matters (QM) Tracks at Iowa State University

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Track 1: Basics of Teaching Online

Description: Participants will become familiar with the QM Rubric and its scoring and feedback systems and how the QM Rubric can provide guidance on current course aspects and suggest meaningful improvements. Faculty will need to create a MYQM online account to access QM toolsets, processes and events. Visit MYQM Account website to create an account.

Recommended components: Successfully complete the “Teaching Online” and “Designing Your Online/Blended Course” online courses offered by QM. Each 2-week long course provides an overview of the QM rubric and encourages participants to create a plan for improving the quality of their own online/blended courses.

Elective component: Complete any combination of CELT-sponsored faculty development programs or events/resources relevant to the instructor’s teaching and learning goals.

CELT support: Faculty or staff members who have received approval through the ISU Quality Matters Instructional Design Assistance Process may request a 50% course fee reimbursement for each of successfully completed QM online course.

Suggested Deliverable: The participant will be able to perform a self-review of their current course design using the QM review tool inside their QM account. This is a great exercise to evaluate the current course design against the QM rubric and plan improvement opportunities.

Track 2: Beyond the Basics of Teaching Online

Description: Participants will explore the specific standards in the QM rubric and learn how to apply these standards to improve specific course components.

Recommended components: Successfully complete the “Applying the QM Rubric”, “Connecting Learning Objectives and Assessments”, and “Improving Your Online Course” courses offered by QM. All QM online courses require that participants create a working course.

Elective component: Complete any combination of CELT-sponsored faculty development programs or events/resources relevant to the instructor’s teaching and learning goals.

CELT support: Faculty or staff members who have received approval through the ISU Quality Matters Instructional Design Assistance Process may request a 50% course fee reimbursement for each of successfully completed QM online course. As part of developing the instructional module, participants may request up to 20 hours of instructional design consultation from CELT staff.

Suggested Deliverable: Participants will develop an instructional module or other course component that is aligned with the course’s learning goals, objectives, activities, instructional materials, technologies and assessment in ways that meaningfully support student learning.

Track 3: Universal Design for Teaching Online

Description: Participants will learn the principles of designing instruction for different learning styles and accessibility. They will closely inspect their courses for meeting the expectations of all essential standards of the QM rubric.

Recommended components: Successfully complete “Addressing Usability and Accessibility”, “Using Instructional Materials and Technology to Promote Learner Engagement” courses offered by QM.

Elective component: Complete any combination of CELT-sponsored faculty development programs or events/resources relevant to the instructor’s teaching and learning goals.

CELT support: Faculty or staff members who have received approval through the ISU Quality Matters Instructional Design Assistance Process may request a 50% course fee reimbursement for each of successfully completed QM online course. As part of evaluating the course for universal design for learning components and accessibility, participants may request up to 10 hours of instructional design consultation from CELT staff.

Suggested Deliverable: Participants will modify their online course to reflect universal deign for learning components which will result in a highly accessible course.

Track 4: Quality Matters Certification

Description: Participants will receive training to complete the official Quality Matters certification process with one of their courses.

Required components: Successfully complete: the “Applying the Quality Matters Rubric” workshop (all participants); “Design Your Online/Blended Course” (for newly created courses); “Improve Your Online Course” (for revised courses). Each of these courses is a two-week, intensive online course. Additionally, participants will be required to complete a Quality Matters self review of their course in the Quality Matters Course Review Management System.

CELT Support: Faculty or staff members who have received approval through the ISU Quality Matters Instructional Design Assistance Process may request a 50% course fee reimbursement for each of successfully completed QM online course. As part of the Quality Matters certification process, participants may request up to 10 hours of instructional design consultation from CELT staff.

Suggested Deliverable: Participants will have a certified online course that meets national and international quality standards.

Review more information about Quality Matters certification visit the Quality Matters Reviews and Certifications website.

ISU Quality Matters Instructional Design Assistance Process

Getting Started:

  1. Set up an appointment with a CELT Online Learning Innovation Hub staff member to discuss Iowa State’s custom QM approach and your instructional design support needs. Visit the CELT Online Learning Innovation Hub in 281 Parks Library, email celt@iastate.edu or phone 515-294-5357.
  2. Faculty or staff members may apply for a 50% fee reimbursement upon successful completion of a QM Workshop download ISU Quality Matters Instructional Design Assistance Process and Application Form (DOCX) and submit the application to CELT.
  3. CELT will contact you once we have reviewed the application.

Upon Approval:

  1. Go to the Quality Matters website and use your ISU email address to create your MyQM login ID and account. For assistance registering your login visit QM Help website.
  2. Review the QM workshop descriptions website, decide which QM course best fits your course redesign needs.
  3. Pay the full QM course registration fee using your departmental ISU Purchasing Card (P-Card). Note: CELT will not reimburse if you select the invoice option.

Upon Successful Completion:

  1. Upon receiving a successful completion certificate for the QM course email it to celt@iastate.edu.
  2. Once CELT verifies a faculty or staff member’s successful completion of the QM course, CELT will reimburse your department for 50% of the course fee.
  3. To discuss next steps set-up a meeting with CELT staff.

Questions?

If you have questions email Darrin Jones, CELT Quality Matters Program Coordinator, or call at 515-294-5357.