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Edinboro’s online Research in Education course recognized by Quality Matters Program

10/28/2013

Edinboro University’s Research in Education (EDUC 788) course has been awarded the “QM Recognized” seal of the Quality Matters Program, a national benchmark for online course design. The award is recognized in the higher education community as an indicator of quality assurance and continuous improvement. EDUC 788 is the first online course at EU to earn this distinction. 

The Quality Matters course review is a faculty-driven evaluation process that certifies online and blended courses.

The course, which is taught by Associate Professor Dr. John Ziegler, was reviewed by three veteran peer reviewers, all of whom are experienced online faculty from schools across the United States. The peer reviewers compared the course against standards inherent in the Quality Matters rubric. After a rigorous review, the course met the standards with a score of 100 percent. Dr. Ziegler will be able to apply the QM logo to the course and in places where the course is advertised. EDUC 788 will also be listed on the Quality Matters Recognized Courses website.

The foundation for officially recognizing a quality online course includes 41 specific standards arranged within a set of eight broader standards. The eight standards address course overview and introduction, alignment of learning objectives, assessment and measurement practices, resources and materials, learner interaction, course technology, learner support and student accessibility. The goals of the program are to increase student retention, learning and satisfaction in online courses.

The Research in Education course at Edinboro University uses video conferencing, chats and instant messaging to enhance instruction. The alignment of each learning objective is directly tied to weekly activities and assessment measures. Course alignment requires that course elements work together to ensure that students achieve the desired learning outcomes.

“Reaching this milestone has been incredibly beneficial to my students and Edinboro University,” said Dr. Ziegler. “By following the QM standards, I have helped students navigate the course more efficiently and access more ancillary resources, resulting in more student engagement with the course content and with each other.”

Quality in online education is important given the area’s rapid growth and has forced institutions, faculty and students to quickly adopt and adapt this new mode of delivering a quality education. The Quality Matters Program is at the forefront in assessing quality assurance for online education and has achieved national prominence for its peer-based approach to continuous improvement in online student learning.