Online instructional design team receives research grant

August 24, 2012 | News, UToday
By Staff

The UT online instructional design team has been awarded a $4,000 research grant to examine gaps between student perceptions of quality in online courses and the views held by Quality Matters-certified peer reviewers.

Dr. Peter You, UT online director of faculty support, is serving as the project lead.

“Although Quality Matters peer reviewers are asked to take a student’s point of view when reviewing online courses, there might still be a gap between the perceptions of reviewers and the students who take an online course,” he said. “Therefore, it is necessary to collect feedback from students about course design.

“The results of this study will enable Quality Matters reviewers to identify the gap between the Quality Matters reviewers’ and student’s perspectives, and enable us to better understand students’ perspectives. The results also can be used for course revisions. The study also can be replicated in other institutions where Quality Matters is being implemented.”

Quality Matters is a faculty-centered, peer review process that is designed to certify the quality of online and blended courses. There are more than 500 institutions affiliated with the Quality Matters program, and Ohio has the largest statewide consortium with 58 member institutions.

The University of Toledo became a member of the Ohio Learning Network’s Ohio Quality Matters Consortium in spring 2011.

Quality Matters developed a researched-based rubric or standard of performance for evaluating and improving online and blended courses. Formated to evaluate course design only and not course delivery or content, the rubric consists of eight broad categories broken down into 40 individual standards. These 40 standards can be used in a variety of ways ranging from providing guidelines for course development to the evaluation and certification of courses either through an internal or external review process.

UT online instructional designers are certified by Quality Matters to evaluate the setup of online and blended courses at the University, as well as Quality Matters subscriber institutions nationwide. Instructional designers use Quality Matters metrics to evaluate and improve online and blended course design in collaboration with faculty.

Faculty who are interested in learning more about the role of Quality Matters in online and blended course design may contact

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