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:
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:
Course Overview and
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:
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
comprehensive and continuous quality assurance and course improvement
framework for online courses that aligns with accreditation standards.
Grow a supportive,
collegial climate of quality assurance in Distance Education.
research-based professional development resource for online faculty.
Cultivate an on- and
off-campus professional collaboration network for the discussion of Distance
Desired Outcomes for
Quality Matters Implementation
virtual environment and student experience.
engagement and learning outcomes.
online faculty role and virtual language.
course design expectations and online course "shell."
online course quality through assessment.
and student success.