Preparing Faculty to Use the Quality Matters Model for Course Improvement
The number of fully online and hybrid (blended) courses in higher education has increased rapidly in recent years. One factor shown to influence effective online learning is the instructional design of such courses. Because continuous improvement in support of student learning is an important part of online education, many colleges and universities have adopted the Quality Matters (QM) program. QM is based on peer review of courses by faculty members who are trained and certified to assess the design of online courses. They provide feedback to instructors in the form of scores on a rubric and recommendations for change. Another approach to implementing QM standards might be to educate interested faculty members in the use of the rubric so they can review and improve their own courses. This research report summarizes a mixed-methods descriptive study focused on the experiences of faculty participants with different kinds of QM training, self-evaluation of a course, and updating of the course. Qualitative and quantitative data converge to support several main findings about using the QM rubric, identifying and making needed changes without help, wanting help from instructional designers with aspects of course improvement, and needing time in faculty workload to review and improve courses.
Journal of Online Learning and Teaching