November 2, 2009
College of Business to use Quality Matters to Assess Online Courses
The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire College of Business (COB) will join the Quality Matters (QM) Consortium in November 2009. The COB will begin certifying online MBA courses offered by UW-Eau Claire and the University of Wisconsin MBA Consortium, according to Bob Erffmeyer, UW-Eau Claire and UW MBA Consortium director.
“Joining QM will be a very positive step for students, faculty and developers,” Erffmeyer said.
Quality Matters (QM) is a faculty-centered, peer review process designed to certify the quality of online courses and online components. Sponsored by Maryland Online, Inc, QM has received national recognition for its peer-based approach to quality assurance and continuous improvement in online education.
Quality Matters uses a rubric to evaluate online course design. The rubric, generated from extensive research in the area of online teaching and learning, assesses forty specific elements, distributed across eight broad categories, such as learning objectives, assessment and measurement, learner engagement, and course accessibility. Courses that successfully meet the QM rubric standards in an official course review are eligible for QM recognition.
Quality Matters places a heavy emphasis on learning objectives and assurance that all elements of the class focus on those objectives, according to Marilyn Bergmann, College of Business coordinator for online learning.
“The QM rubric provides a great blueprint that guides course quality without limiting the creativity of online instruction,” Bergmann said.
Currently, QM has 365 subscriber institutions in 42 states, Canada and Bermuda. Wisconsin institutions that are members of the QM Consortium include UW-La Crosse, UW-Madison, UW-Oshkosh, UW-Whitewater, and the Chippewa Valley Technical College. QM is used by 15 institutions in Minnesota, including UW-Duluth, UW-Twin Cities, St. Cloud State University and Winona State University.