eLearning, Web 2.0, Educational Technology, Online/Distance Education, Faculty Development, and more…

Posts tagged ‘QM’

Seeking Evidence of Impact & More! #ELIWEB

pictures of campus and educators

 

I attended an excellent webinar this week co-sponsored by Quality Matters (QM) and Educause Learning Initiative (ELI) called “Measuring Effectiveness of Online Blended Programs.” The three speakers, Kay Shattuck from QM, Veronica Diaz from ELI, and Tanya Joosten from UWM and DETA, explained various research projects and ways we can collaborate to measure effectiveness and quality of courses and programs. ELI’s “Seeking Evidence of Impact” (SEI) project really caught my interest. Many colllege instructors have been experimenting with some great new technologies and innovative teaching practices and we need to chronicle and share the impact of these efforts. According to the Seeking Evidence of Impact website:

SEI is a program led by the ELI teaching and learning community to find current effective practices that enable the collection of evidence to help faculty and administration make decisions about adopting and investing in best practices. They developed this Study Guide & Template so we could all use it as we “seek evidence of impact” at our institutions.

All three presenters were excellent and I’ve posted some of the resources shared from the webinar and back channels. I definitely recommend checking them out and getting involved with this important research.

Slides and eventually the recording which ELI and QM members will have access to for the next 90 days.

http://www.educause.edu/events/eli-webinar-measuring-effectiveness-onlineblended-programs/2015/measuring-effectiveness-onlineblended-programs

Quality Matters Resources

https://www.qmprogram.org/

https://www.qmprogram.org/qmresources/research/

Continuous Improvement of the QM Rubric and Review Processes: Scholarship of Integration and Application

Distance Education and Technological Advancement (DETA) Grant Project

http://uwm.edu/deta/grant-summary/

http://uwm.edu/deta/top-research-questions/

Misc Sites Shared in the Webinar

http://professorjoosten.blogspot.com/

http://www.routledgementalhealth.com/books/details/9780415742474/

 

 

Advertisements

Faculty Development: Important Key to Online Learning Success

Babson recently released their 12th annual survey that tracks online education in the United States based on responses from over 2,800 CAO’s and data from IPEDS. As always, the release of this important online tracking survey has generated a lot of buzz and back-channel conversations. The Online Learning Consortium shared the survey with their members and invited us to share how our university is making online learning a success. I apologize in advance for the longer than usual post.

This blog post will highlight the University of Denver’s successful model for implementing online courses within our traditional undergraduate programs. Note that our definition of online/distance courses is a course in which “all or nearly all of the organized instruction is conducted online or by distance learning methodologies.”

How the University of Denver (DU) is Making Online Learning a Success

DU Building

 The University of Denver, a private, residential university embraced online education a bit later than some of our competitors.  Like many other colleges and universities, distance and online education at DU was primarily housed in our professional and continuing education studies division, University College. Very few online courses were offered within our traditional academic degree programs until 2009 when we started an online learning initiative.

Fourteen full-time faculty members participated in a pilot project to explore the value of providing traditional undergraduate students the opportunity to take online courses. From the very beginning, we built a comprehensive faculty development component into the program. As a private, residential university, we knew we had to provide our online students with the same type of personalized learning experience that they were accustomed to in their on-campus classrooms.

The faculty members in the pilot participated in an intensive faculty development program called the Teaching Online Workshop (TOW). The workshop allows faculty members to experience online learning first-hand from the student perspective. They learn best practices for designing and facilitating online courses, all while developing their online course as part of the required workshop activities.

The vast majority of faculty members who participated in the pilot indicated that they felt that the faculty development activities were necessary for them to learn how to teach online, that the initial creation of an online course was time-consuming but that they would teach an online course again because of the generally positive outcomes they observed. The program has now expanded to include graduate level and hybrid courses.

Over 165 faculty members in disciplines from all areas of the university have completed the Teaching Online Workshop. Here’s what some of them said about their experience in the Teaching Online Workshop:

“Participating in the TOW helped me recognize what quality online learning looks like and changed my perception of online courses for the better. As a student in this online workshop, I was able to experience firsthand how thoughtful course design and judicious use of multimedia tools can come together to create a rich learning environment. Practically speaking, the TOW also provided a fantastic opportunity to develop a course with thoughtful feedback and ongoing support from the instructors and my colleagues. The TOW is a wonderful resource for any instructor who is new to online teaching.”
– Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology

“While demanding, the Teaching Online Workshop is well worth the effort it takes. Beyond learning how to negotiate Canvas and being introduced to the Quality Matters Program for online course design, you receive astonishingly detailed feedback as you build your course from instructors who have terrific pedagogical instincts, who review your materials with tremendous care, and who offer invaluable suggestions and strategies for improvement.”
– Professor, Department of Religious Studies

Even some tenure-track faculty members with years of teaching experience who completed TOW reported that teaching online changed the way they teach their classroom-based courses. I’m sure this is not a surprise to many people still reading this post, and not unique to the University of Denver. Online learning and digital technologies are fueling pedagogical innovations which is also impacting student success in all college classrooms (online, hybrid, blended, flipped, face-to-face). As John Sener wrote in  The Seven Futures of American Education, “online education has driven pedagogical innovation.” And I’ve heard this over and over again, from multiple articles and research studies, but more importantly, from professors at DU and my colleagues in the eLearning Consortium of Colorado. I’m happy to report that DU’s Teaching Online Workshop is now required of faculty members who teach online courses within our traditional academic programs.

I appreciate all of the wonderful  research and professional development efforts by organizations such as BSRG, WCET, OLC, IHE, QM and other leaders in the online and distance education world. In the future, I hope more questions about faculty development will be included in research, surveys and discussions about online education.

7 Futures of American Education

I had an opportunity to meet John Sener at the Quality Matters conference in Nashville last week and purchased

a  copy of his book, “The Seven Futures of American Education – Improving Learning & Teaching in a Screen-Captured World.” I just started reading the book and wanted to share a couple of interesting quotes from the book:

  • Over the past 15 years, online education in the US has gone from zero to mainstream
  • If the first era in the history of online education was focused on providing access, the 2nd era has the potential to be defined by improving quality — not just for online education but for all education
  • Cybersymbiosis – irretrievable dependent on digital technologies (this isn’t a fad that is going to eventually fade)

John led a pre-workshop seminar at the conference about “using the seven futures as a framework to improve educational quality: a dialogue” and I was really impressed that he
stayed for the entire conference.  I’m looking forward to reading more of his book.

Quality Matters Online Student Bill of Rights

This is an excellent video about the importance of quality course design in online courses from the student perspective. Visit the Quality Matters website for information about the Quality Matters Standards and Rubric.

Using Quality Matters (QM) to Improve All Courses

I’ve very excited that we just purchased a subscription to Quality Matters (QM).  Quality Matter is a well-known leader in quality assurance for online education and offers a peer review process and rubric that is designed to certify the quality of online and blended courses. The QM rubric includes 8 standards:

  • Course Learning Objectives (Competencies)
  • Assessment and Measurement
  • Instructional Materials
  • Learner Interaction and Engagement
  • Course Technology
  • Learner Support
  • Accessibility

The Journal of Teaching and Learning with Technology (JoTLT) recently published an article about QM entitled, Using Quality Matters (QM) to Improve All Courses.