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Angie Smith Earns University Quality Matters Certification for Online Course

Instructional Designer Bethanne Tobey (center) facilitates a face-to-face working meeting of the Fall 2018 Online Course Improvement Program cohort. Bethanne is pictured at the back of the table with participants on the other side.

Since beginning our official quality assurance measures in 2018, NC State has added 12 Quality Matters-certified courses to its list.

Most recently, Kim Allen, Christine Cranford, Molly Fenn, Leigh Shamblin, David Shew and Angie Smith successfully completed the Fall 2018 Online Course Improvement Program (OCIP) and submitted their courses for official Quality Matters (QM) review, resulting in certification.

QM helps faculty ensure their online and hybrid courses are designed to promote learning with innovation and steady improvement. Students who take QM-certified courses can trust that their experience is backed by research and held to nationally recognized standards of excellence.

Program participants work with a DELTA mentor who is trained to prepare and review courses according to the QM rubric. Mentors bring their backgrounds in instructional design and technology to assist faculty, providing regular communication and guidance as they create assignments and make improvements to their courses. Along the way, mentors also evaluate their participant’s progress and give feedback to make sure the entire process revolves around QM standards.

“I think the faculty-mentor partnership is one of the most valuable aspects of this very challenging Online Course Improvement Program, which often pushes faculty outside their comfort zone of how they normally think about their own course,” says Instructional Technologist Arlene Mendoza-Moran, who serves on the QM team at NC State.

“The mentor needs to be an interpreter, a coach, a facilitator, a cheerleader, and sometimes a therapist in helping faculty to understand and apply the rigorous QM standards,” she added.

Faculty cohort members deserve immense praise and congratulations for their enthusiasm and dedication to improving online learning. Together, they’ve made strides for teaching with technology at NC State. QM has noticed, recognizing their accomplishments on their website and several times on Twitter. Mendoza-Moran also appreciates their hardworking and innovative approaches to the program.

“I can’t tell you how impressed I have been with the level of commitment the faculty have exhibited. This is difficult for even very seasoned online instructors. It forces them to rethink the entire structure of their course in terms of learner expectations, experience and success. Nothing speaks more to the faculty member’s dedication to course quality than their willingness to throw out past assumptions, ask difficult questions, and ideate solutions that will help their students to be successful.”

Thanks to the combined effort of the cohort and DELTA staff, students can now benefit from six new QM-certified online courses across five different colleges at NC State:

ECD 535 – Introduction to College Counseling
Instructor: Angie Smith
College of Education

ENG 331 – Communication for Engineering and Technology
Instructor: Christine Cranford
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

MA 231 – Calculus for Life and Management Sciences B
Instructor: Molly Fenn
College of Sciences

MBA 590 – Jenkins Consulting Practicum
Instructor: Leigh Shamblin
Poole College of Management

PP 315 — Principles of Plant Pathology
Instructor: David Shew
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

YFCS 545 — Family Communication and Coaching
Instructor: Kim Allen
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

In these courses, students can expect extensive support with getting started in the course, understanding the course progression and finding their way around with ease.

Expectations and objectives are clearly defined, as is the goal of each activity and its connection to their success. While instructors and students are separated by distance, there’s a strong sense of community and engagement among faculty and peers, and valuable interactions are championed.

“A well-designed QM-based course allows students to focus their efforts and energy on learning, instead of trying to figure out where to find things or spending time seeking clarification on instructions that are unclear,” explains Mendoza-Moran.

“As a result, they are less likely to become frustrated and disengaged. It is well supported in the research that students who remain engaged in an online course tend to perform better and be more satisfied.”

Congratulations to the faculty cohort and the team at DELTA for their contributions to enhancing quality in online education!


Quality Matters at NC State

Online Course Improvement Program

First in Quality Matters at NC State

Spring 2018 Online Course Improvement Program Cohort

Fall 2018 Online Course Improvement Program Cohort

Spring 2019 Online Course Improvement Program Cohort

This post was originally published in DELTA News.