Last spring, three University faculty faculty completed training to be certified facilitators of the introductory Quality Matters course, Applying the Quality Matters Rubric (APPQMR). For the first time, the University of Minnesota sponsored QM trainings that were facilitated by U of M faculty and participants were all from U of M campuses.
A cohort approach
University-facilitated training allowed cohorts of U of M faculty and staff to participate in trainings as a group, building a collegial and shared experience with Quality Matters. Participants have met colleagues from other areas of the University who are working on similar projects; as they move forward in their own course design or redesign, they can reach out to others that they met during the QM training.
A cohort model also helps establish the use of Quality Matters and instructional design best practices within departments and colleges. If one faculty member from a college participates in Quality Matters, it may be difficult to expand the use of QM beyond the courses directly influenced by the one faculty member. If, however, several faculty members participate, their collective efforts can establish a culture or practice of quality design and assurance.
Feedback from Participants
I was very impressed with my course facilitator, the organization of the materials, and the course design. As the design of distance delivery environments evolve, access to this wonderful resource is invaluable. The research embedded in the rubrics helps to facilitate a cycle of continuous improvement in our courses. - Staff Participant
Although, I have taught online for well over a decade, I have never really taken an online course. So, it did help me view a course from a student's perspective and it was clear to me that I need to be more explicit about the instructions in my online courses. It also showed me the importance of instructor feedback and that student's do value and anticipate timely feedback from faculty. It also drilled home the necessity of alignment in online courses. - Faculty Participant
Learn more about QM@UM and sign up to participate in an upcoming Quality Matters training.