Impacts of a Quality Matters™ Workshop on Faculty Who Design, Develop, and Deliver Online Courses: A Mixed Methods Study
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Quality Matters™ is recognized world wide as a highly reputable method for quality assurance in online learning. While much research is available regarding Quality Matters as a tool for quality assurance, very little research exists on Quality Matters professional development and effective methods for instructional designers who support faculty as they design courses to meet QM standards. The present mixed-methods study was conducted using two phases. Phase 1 explored cognitive and affective outcomes of the Applying the Quality Matters Rubric (APPQMR) workshop with faculty in one large university who design, develop, and deliver online courses. Cognitive outcomes included knowledge of best practice in online course design and were measured using a criterion-based assessment. Affective outcomes were measured using self-report and included faculty perception of online course quality and willingness to use the QM Rubric to redesign an online course. Phase 2 explored the extent to which faculty improved the quality of their online course after workshop participation and lived experiences of redesigning an online course to meet QM standards. Courses were peer-reviewed and faculty members were interviewed before and after redesign. Faculty members had the option of collaborating with an instructional designer and Quality Matters expert during course redesign. Results for participants, N=25, indicated that APPQMR statistically significantly improved knowledge of best practices in online course design but did not improve perception of online course quality or increase willingness to use the QM rubric to redesign an existing online course. Three out of five case studies completed the course revision process and dramatically improved the quality of their online courses by over 70%. The largest improvements occurred in Course Overview and Introduction, Learning Objectives, and Learner Support. The smallest improvements occurred in Assessment and Measurement and Accessibility suggesting that faculty need further opportunities to learn how to apply the concept of alignment within an authentic setting. Faculty were initially overwhelmed by the amount of work implied by the initial course review, but overall reported a positive professional growth experience. Based on these findings a model for additional professional development is proposed and guidelines for effective collaboration are proposed.
SubjectFaculty Professional Development
Designing Online Courses
Mercer, Rene E. (2014). Impacts of a Quality Matters™ Workshop on Faculty Who Design, Develop, and Deliver Online Courses: A Mixed Methods Study. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from