Standards for Design: Part 27 – Aligned Learning Activities

Happy Quality Matter Monday OSU QMmunity and Happy national distance education week!

Welcome to the twenty-seventh blog post in a forty-four week series walking through and explaining the Quality Matters standards.

This is the first standard in the fifth general standard of the Fifth Edition, 2014, Quality MattersTM Higher Education Rubric focusing on Learner Activities and Learner Interaction.  This post starts our discussion about creating meaningful Learner Activities and Learner Interaction and how they relate to the idea of Alignment to the Learning Objectives

Standard: 5.1 The learning activities promote the achievement of the stated learning objectives or competencies.

Now that we have our aligned assessments and instructional materials, we need to start figuring out what learning activities we are going to have students interact with.  The interaction isn’t just what happens with the content and other students, but should also include what is happening between the students and the instructors. This idea is best exemplified in the Community of Inquiry Model, which we will talk more about in the next standard.

The important thing here is to make certain that you are creating interactions that will promote the learner’s achievement of the Module / Unit / Weeks objectives.  There are a couple interactions that are an exception to this rule, such as an introductory discussion forum and a general forum to ask questions.  It is a great idea to create opportunities for students to talk about related materials that are not part of the normal discussion forums.  These forums are usually not for credit assignments and simply allow students an opportunity to expand on their knowledge of the class.

Contact The Ohio State University Quality Matter Coordinator, Tim Lombardo at to learn more about Quality Matters and learn more how OSU faculty and staff can be compensated for the cost of training through the ODEE Quality Matters Grants.

All Quality Matters related ODEE Distance Education blog posts can be found at the Quality Matters category of the ODEE Distance Education Blog


Adapted from the Fifth Edition, 2014 Quality MattersTM Rubric © by The Ohio State University

Quality MattersTM © 2008 MarylandOnline, Inc. Reprinted with permission by Grace Hall. Please contact MarylandOnline, Inc. for information or reprint permission.