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Quality Matters at SSC

Seminole State College (SSC) is committed to providing the highest quality online courses for students. In an effort to ensure this quality, SSC is partnering with Quality Matters (QM). For more information about QM for Higher Education, visit: https://www.qualitymatters.org/higher-education-program

The QM Liaison for Seminole State College is Michael Schnell, DE Coordinator and certified QM Peer Reviewer.

From SSC's Distance Education Plans and Procedures:

The development of online courses is the responsibility of SSC faculty under the supervision of the appropriate Division Chair, the Coordinator of Distance Education, and the VPAA. Faculty or faculty teams who develop online courses are called course developers...Online course development follows the existing process for developing courses, but includes additional steps unique to online courses. Existing requirements for all SSC courses include creating a syllabus based on the college-approved course master syllabus, incorporating direct and indirect assessment, and using internal and external evaluation (student evaluations and feedback, faculty self-assessment, mentoring, division chair observation). Additional requirements specific to online courses include the “Distance Education Instructor and Course Application” and the Quality Matters peer-review and course certification process.

What is Quality Matters?

QM is a subscription-based, non-profit organization that provides peer-reviewed assessment of online course design and recommendations for course improvement. The QM certification process uses the QM Rubric, one specific for higher education, to help colleges improve the quality assurance of their distance education programs. The QM rubric, used by more than 700 colleges and universities, focuses primarily on online course design and implements forty-one research-based standards divided into eight categories to ensure the quality of course design. Courses that satisfy a predetermined scoring threshold during the peer-review process are awarded Quality Matters Certification. QM course certifications are valid for a period of five years. QM also provides professional development for faculty and administrators.

The QM course design rubric is used by peer review teams to evaluate courses (but not faculty performance). Course developers can also use the rubric as a guide to improve and/or create online courses.

 

The QM Rubric

The eight standards on the QM Rubric are:

  1. Course Overview and Introduction

  2. Learning Objectives (Competencies)

  3. Assessment and Measurement

  4. Instructional Materials

  5. Learner Interaction and Engagement

  6. Course Technology

  7. Learner Support

  8. Accessibility.

All standards focus on student-centered approaches to design, and standards 2-6 stress the importance of aligning course content with measurable course outcomes and learning objectives. For more information about the QM Rubric, visit: https://www.qualitymatters.org/rubric

Institutional Support

The College has allocated appropriate funds for the QM subscription, professional development for faculty course developers, and for the fees associated with the course review process. It has also outlined specific goals and measureable outcomes that it hopes to realize in part as the result of implementing Quality Matters. Ongoing achievement of these goals and outcomes will be analyzed and reviewed each year and adjusted as necessary by the Distance Education and Curriculum Committees.

Intentional Goals of Implementing Quality Matters at Seminole State College

  1. Establish a comprehensive and continuous quality assurance and course improvement framework for online courses that aligns with accreditation standards.

  2. Grow a supportive, collegial climate of quality assurance in Distance Education.

  3. Provide a research-based professional development resource for online faculty.

  4. Cultivate an on- and off-campus professional collaboration network for the discussion of Distance Education.

Desired Outcomes for Quality Matters Implementation

  1. Consistency of virtual environment and student experience.

  2. Improve student engagement and learning outcomes.

  3. Consistency of online faculty role and virtual language.

  4. Campus-wide online course design expectations and online course "shell."

  5. Faculty collaboration.

  6. Increase online enrollment.

  7. Demonstration of online course quality through assessment.

  8. Course completion and student success.

  9. Increase campus graduation rate.

 

Seminole State College empowers people for academic success, personal development, and lifelong learning.

COMPASSION          -          OPPORTUNITY          -          RESPECT          -          EXCELLENCE

last updated February 2017

For information about SSC's Distance Education program, contact Michael Schnell, the Coordinator of Distance Education

Web site: Kelli McBride