UF Quality Matters Initiative Results in Award
The University of Findlay continues to work toward Quality Matters (QM) certification for its online courses. To date, more than 20 courses in the Doctorate of Education, Master of Education, and Master of Business Administration programs have earned QM certification. As a result, Associate Professor and Quality Matters Coordinator, Nicole Schilling, Ph.D. was awarded the “Quality Matters Making a Difference for Students Award for Outstanding Impact by an Individual in Higher Education.”
“The purpose of Quality Matters (QM) is to improve the quality of online education for our students through the implementation of research-based best practices in course design,” said Schilling. “Our QM participation demonstrates UF’s ongoing commitment to providing an exemplary online learning experience for our students.”
Quality Matters (QM) is an international organization based in the United States that looks at online courses and programs and reviews them for certification. Adhering to the standards of the QM rubric, consistency is created in course design. Consistency then translates into a seamless experience for online students as they move from course to course within a program.
To help certify courses and programs, Schilling works with instructors to make sure there is alignment between the course objectives, module objectives, assessments, instructional materials, learning activities, and tools. “If students are reading a research article, it is important for them to know how they will use what they learned from this research article in perhaps a discussion board and then assessment,” Schilling said. “Otherwise, students might feel like reading the research article was just ‘busy work’ without a purpose connected to the course objectives.”
To date, more than 200 faculty and staff members have received Quality Matters training. Schilling is in the process of facilitating the recertification of the Ed.D. courses. “In addition, we hope other programs will request QM course certification,” she says.