Standards for Design: Part 31 – Aligned Course Tools

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

This is the first standard in the sixth general standard of the Fifth Edition, 2014, Quality MattersTM Higher Education Rubric focusing on Course Technology.  This post starts our discussion about technology used in the online or hybrid course and how they relate to the idea of Alignment to the Learning Objectives.

Standard: 6.1 The tools used in the course support the learning objectives and competencies.

Now that we have our aligned assessments, instructional materials, and learning activities, we need to make certain that we are using the correct tools in the courses that align back to the learning objectives.

The important thing to remember here is to make sure you are utilizing the correct course tools that corresponds to the learner’s achievement of the Module / Unit / Weeks objectives.  At OSU, the primary tool we use will be the LMS (Carmen). Within Carmen, however, we have a number of different tools we can use. This includes things such as Discussion Forums, Dropboxes and a blog tool.

The Office of Distance Education and eLearning provides other resources outside of Carmen in their supported toolkit to OSU faculty, staff and students.

CarmenConnect Is OSU’s version of Adobe Connect-which provides a powerful, yet flexible and user friendly way to bring people from various parts of the world together.  CarmenConnect – is most beneficial in scenarios requiring individuals to interact from different physical locations.

CarmenWiki A wiki is an online space that can be used for collaboration or information sharing. Wiki pages switch easily between viewing and editing modes. In viewing mode, a wiki strongly resembles a website. Pages can be linked in multiple ways, rather than being limited to the linear structure of a word-processing file. A wiki owner can control who has access to see and edit the space as a whole as well as individual pages. Commenting can also be allowed on pages.

Mediasite (Faculty and Staff Only) Mediasite is a lecture capture software created by Sonic Foundry Inc. This can be leveraged by Faculty to deliver their lectures in an asynchronous format.  This can also be used to create course introductions, course navigation videos and any other video lectures the faculty member chooses.  As a reminder there needs to be alternative formats for any video that you create.  This includes creating a transcript and captions to the video.  We will talk more about accessibility in standard seven and standard eight.

Secured Media Library (Faculty Only) Shortened class times and the continued move away from physical media has made it difficult to show movies in class. Ohio State’s Secured Media Library is an online portal for securely streaming movies to your classroom and to your students outside of class. Instructors can access and exhibit all of the resources within the repository with the ability to create assignments for their students to access from home or on the go as homework or review.

U.OSU Wish you could easily build a great professional site for free? You can. U.OSU.EDU is the university’s website development service which provides easy to create personal web space to Ohio State faculty, staff, and students to support their professional and educational activities at the Ohio State University.  We think U.OSU.EDU is something special. While this phase focuses on personal sites, future phases will support class sites, organizations, and groups across campus.

Overall, there are two very important takeaways in regard to this standard. First, you don’t have to use technology for the sake of using technology. Second, when using technology make sure it aligns back to the learning objectives.

For example, if I have a learning objective of “Student will create an IRB plan”, a discussion board would not be the appropriate technology.  However, if my learning objective was “Student will discuss show to create an IRB plan”, a discussion forum would be appropriate.

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.

CarmenConnect | ODEE Resource Center. (2015). From

CarmenWiki | ODEE Resource Center. (2015). From
Secured Media Library | ODEE Resource Center. (2015). from

U.OSU | ODEE Resource Center. (2015). from