June 2011 Archives

Collaborative writing

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Mitch Ogden discusses the differences between cooperative and collaborative writing. The 21st century marks the impulse to write collaboratively and the digital tools to turn that impulse into reality. Focusing on Wikis & Google documents, Ogden shares how we can use these tools to write collaboratively.

For more information about 20 by 20: An OIT Pecha Kucha Event, see http://www.oit.umn.edu/programs/20-by-20. That web page provides an overview of the event and links to the Google Site.

Twitter Revisited


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Jude & Colin share their thoughts on the degree to which social media sites such as Twitter have been successful as a pedagogy tool, communication and information network as well as the ways Twitter can be incorporated in the classroom.

Invaluable insights gained from being a peer reviewer

elearning.jpgOnline teaching comes with its own set of challenges for faculty. Even instructors with years of experience teaching online sometimes struggle in specific areas of online instruction, like facilitating high quality online discussions, developing assignments, or assessing how well students met the course learning objectives. The University of Minnesota offers Quality Matters training in part to assist faculty in meeting these challenges.

Digital Campus spoke with Tani Bialek, an online instructor of 6 years, about the overall benefits she experienced from participating in the Quality Matters (QM) training and being a peer reviewer.

Benefits of Quality Matters

Quality Matters (QM) is a nationally recognized, faculty-centered, peer review process designed to certify the quality of online and blended courses. QM is a leader in quality assurance for online education, whose standards are supported by best practices and relevant research. The QM rubric is kept up to date with literature review conducted for each new rubric edition. Since QM was founded, it has trained over 8,000 faculty and instructional design staff from colleges and universities across the country.

The University of Minnesota is a member of Quality Matters. There are many benefits to faculty, units and to the University in participating in QM.


Benefits to faculty:


  • Ongoing faculty professional development and national certification for faculty teaching online

  • Opportunity to be trained as a QM Peer Reviewer

  • Development of critical assessment skills for examining online courses and materials

  • A road map to follow during the process of course development.

  • Exposure to instructional design and new ideas for improving online courses

  • Support to redesign existing online course to ensure the development and delivery of quality courses

Benefits to University:


  • Improved student learning outcomes and retention in online courses

  • National recognition for University courses that meet Quality Matters standards

  • Supports the University's commitment to excellence in teaching

To learn more about what Quality Matters is, how it is applied as well as hear the experiences of other instructors who have used QM in their online courses, watch our video on Why Quality Matters.

Read what other online instructors have to say about the benefits of Quality Matters:

"I think for me personally, what I enjoyed most about the process (and about the QM training in general) is that it has given me so many good ideas for how to improve my own courses... and I can't help but feel that I will continue to get new ideas as I review other courses and see what other people are doing." - Michelle Everson, Department of Educational Psychology. Read full article.

"The Quality Matters training provided me with information regarding how to design a solid, high-quality course in an academic setting. I also feel more confident in my ability to make good decisions regarding what technology(s) to incorporate into a course. As using technology in the higher education has become a permanent "trend", high-quality courses and instruction will keep our students coming back versus trying to win them back after a negative experience." - Tani Bialek, online instructor. Read full article.

Why Quality Matters

How do you ensure that your online course is as good as it should be? Greta Cummingham from the Vice Provost Office for Distributed Ed. And Instr. Tech explains the why, how, what and what it is not of Quality Matters. Also hear what other instructors have to say about their experiences using QM in their online courses.

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"Reflections on teaching online" (podcast)

Jude and Colin share their thoughts, different teaching styles & experiences teaching an online course as well as what works and what does not in a virtual classroom environment.

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Experience as an external peer reviewer

EversonM-2007.jpgQuality Matters is is a nationally recognized, faculty-centered, peer review process designed to improve and certify the quality of online course design. Faculty at colleges and universities across the country use the QM rubric in developing, maintaining and reviewing their online courses.

Faculty and instructors can participate in QM training and become certified to serve on a review team for online courses offered from other institutions. To learn more about QM at the University, please read here.

Below, Michelle Everson writes about serving on a review team and the improvements she made to her online course design after the review process:

I completed the necessary training to become a QM peer reviewer last fall, and since that time, I've been asked to take part in one review. I'm hoping more reviews will come my way because I really enjoyed the process and learned a lot! The review I did took place right before spring break, in March of 2011. I was asked to review a course called "Healthcare Statistics and Research" that is offered at Tacoma Community College in Washington.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from June 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

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