Standards for Design: Part 26 – Required and optional materials

Happy Quality Matter Monday OSU QMmunity!

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

This is the sixth and final standard in the fourth general standard of the Fifth Edition, 2014, Quality MattersTM Higher Education Rubric focusing on Instructional Materials. This post continues our discussion about creating meaningful instructional materials and how they relate to the idea of Alignment to the Learning Objectives.

Standard: 4.6 The distinction between required and optional materials is clearly explained.

This is standards examines the need to make sure there is a distinction between required and optional assessments, activities and materials. The reason for this is to emphasize what materials are important to the student and which materials can be investigated beyond the materials that are required. By offering both required and optional materials, you are able to engage students at their interest level. You provide the required readings for those students who are aiming to meet the course objectives, and the optional materials for those individuals who may want to dive deeper into the topics.

An important note about the optional materials: these should not be assessed. If the assessments are going to relate to optional materials, it is important to make them required.

Contact The Ohio State University Quality Matter Coordinator, Tim Lombardo at lombardo.89@osu.edu 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

Citations

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.

Standards for Design: Part 25 – Course Content Variety

Happy Quality Matter Monday OSU QMmunity!

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

This is the fifth standard in the fourth general standard of the Fifth Edition, 2014, Quality MattersTM Higher Education Rubric focusing on Instructional Materials. This post continues our discussion about creating meaningful instructional materials and how they relate to the idea of Alignment to the Learning Objectives.

Standard: 4.5 The instructional materials present a variety of perspectives on the course content.

This is standards examines the need to make sure materials used in a course provide a variety of perspectives on the subject area. Let’s relate this back to creating scholarly works and research. When literature reviews are created, they contain a variety of sources that the research is built upon. Much like the previous standard, one way to help with this is by using web materials in conjunction with journal articles to supplement the textbook materials. Web based materials are a great addition because they tend to be more dynamic and more easily updated than traditional journal articles.

In a QM Course Review, this is a standard that reviewers would look to the Subject Matter Expert whether or not the standard is met

Contact The Ohio State University Quality Matter Coordinator, Tim Lombardo at lombardo.89@osu.edu 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

Citations

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.

Standards for Design: Part 24 – Current instructional materials

Happy Quality Matter Monday OSU QMmunity!

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

This is the fourth standard in the fourth general standard of the Fifth Edition, 2014, Quality MattersTM Higher Education Rubric focusing on Instructional Materials.  This post continues our discussion about creating meaningful instructional materials and how they relate to the idea of Alignment to the Learning Objectives.

Standard: 4.4 The instructional materials are current.

This is standards examines the need to make sure the materials used in a course are the latest thinking and research in the subject area.  This is often vital when reusing the same materials and readings for a course year after year. While the information may be valuable for students, it is important that it is still relevant and up-to-date. One way to help with this is by using web materials in conjunction with journal articles. Web based materials are a great addition because they tend to be more dynamic and easier and more readily updated than traditional journal articles.

In a QM Course Review, this is a standard that reviewers would look to the Subject Matter Expert whether or not the standard is met.

Contact The Ohio State University Quality Matter Coordinator, Tim Lombardo at lombardo.89@osu.edu 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

Citations

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.

Standards for Design: Part 23 – Appropriate citations

Happy Quality Matter Monday OSU QMmunity!

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

This is the third standard in the fourth general standard of the Fifth Edition, 2014, Quality MattersTM Higher Education Rubric focusing on Instructional Materials.  This post continues our discussion about creating meaningful instructional materials and how they relate to the idea of Alignment to the Learning Objectives.

Standard: 4.3 All instructional materials used in the course are appropriately cited.

Instructors are familiar with creating scholarly works and research.  A large part of creating scholarly works is citations. You want to always give credit the works of peers that you are utilizing in your own research.

Creating an online or hybrid course is no different than creating these scholarly works.  I would go so far as to say that these courses are in fact interactive scholarly works.  You have a collection of artifacts that the professor has collected, along with their own content, to create a much larger artifact.  There are even peer review opportunities such as participating with a Quality Matters peer review.

So what exactly needs to be cited?  In short, everything that you use should be cited.  Also, remember that just because you cite the work doesn’t make it legal to use.

Look at the example of pictures. Just because an image is on the internet doesn’t mean you are free to download and use them. I went to a photography conference a few years ago and I sat in a session with a person who was photographer and a lawyer.  To quote them, “A photographer doesn’t get rich taking photos; photographers get rich suing people for stealing their works.”

This can also apply to articles. In fact, sometimes articles, text books, and text book chapters that are written by faculty are owned by the publisher and not the person that wrote them depending on how a contract was written.

How do you cite them?  There are a number of different formats for citation to choose from, including MLA, APA, Chicago, etc. It is really up to you as the instructor.  Images that are under Creative Commons have their own best practices for citing Creative Commons materials.

There are great resources to help make sense of citations and copyright.  To help find more open (and easily citable works) there is the Open Professionals Education Network (OPEN) which has a section to help you find open educational resources.   The OSU Universities Libraries also have great resources for citation help and a Copyright Resources Center.  The Office of Distance Education and eLearning are is also looking for professors who might be interested in using open resources, especially open text books.

Contact The Ohio State University Quality Matter Coordinator, Tim Lombardo at lombardo.89@osu.edu 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

Citations

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.

Standards for Design: Part 22 – The purpose of learning materials and how they will be used

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

This is the second standard in the fourth general standard of the Fifth Edition, 2014, Quality MattersTM Higher Education Rubric focusing on Instructional Materials. This post continues our discussion about creating meaningful instructional materials and how they relate to the idea of Alignment to the Learning Objectives.

Standard: 4.2 Both the purpose of instructional materials and how the materials are to be used for learning activities are clearly explained.

Imagine you saw this in a course:

http://www.npr.org/

Just this link and nothing else. Would you know what to do or where to go? What is the question you are supposed to answer?

This standard points out the importance of having instructions for what students are supposed to do with the course content and how it relates to the learning objectives. A brief explanation and directions about the learning materials is important so student know why you chose these particular learning materials and how the students are supposed to use them.

Contact The Ohio State University Quality Matter Coordinator, Tim Lombardo at lombardo.89@osu.edu 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

Citations

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.

Standards for Design: Part 21 – Aligned Learning Materials

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

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

Standard: 4.1 The instructional materials contribute to the achievement of the stated course and module/unit learning objectives or competencies.

Now that we have our aligned assessments created, we need to start figuring out what instructional materials we are going to have students read, listen and interact with that will prepare them for the assessments to meet these goals. Some materials you may choose to employ include textbooks, websites, journal articles, videos and publisher materials.

The important thing here is to make certain that you are selecting materials that will promote the learner’s achievement of the assessments in your Module / Unit / Weeks objectives.  You don’t want to use materials that don’t align with your assessments.

For example, let’s take our course on Internet Safety. In week one we are learning about web browsers.

Would you use this video:

Probably not, because it does not align with the content of the course. However, if you were teaching a marketing class this video would be appropriate for a lesson about sales.

However consider this video:

Would this video align to the assessments, Learning Objectives and Course Learning Outcomes?

To continue mapping out the idea of alignment in order to make certain that the CLOs are achieved, we can use tools like the ODEE Course Blueprint Template. In the example below, I am continuing to build upon the standards of alignment that was started a few weeks ago.

Course Learning Outcomes Week 1 Learning Objectives Week 1 Assignment Week 1 Learning Materials
By the end of this course students will: By the end of this week students will: Week 1 Web Quest Releated to Weekly outcome 2
  1. Identify different web browsers
  2. Identify the functionality of web browsers Describe different
    Internet Dangers
  1. Identify the common web browsers.
    1. Related to course learning outcome
  2. 1 Identify alternative web browsers.
    1. Related to course learning outcome 1
According to the Wikipedia Web Browser Page
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_browser) Firefox, Google Chrome,
Internet Explorer, Opera, Safari and Android make up 95.98% of the
commonly downloaded, installed and used web browsers.Your assignment
is to identify an “alternative web browser” in that 4.02%.You must
include the following information in a Word document, which you must
upload below.Your Name:1.) What is the name of the Web Browser?2.) URL of the web browser developer.3.) What operating systems does it work on? (ex. Microsoft Windows
XP)4.) Two advertised features of the web browsers.Your assignment is due by 11:55 PM on Friday of this week. This must
be created and attached as a Microsoft Word Document, do not copy
and paste your answers.
  • Week 1 Video Lecture: Web Browsers
    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVW7Xge_frs
  • Week 1 Lecture Web Browsers PowerPoint

Contact The Ohio State University Quality Matter Coordinator, Tim Lombardo at lombardo.89@osu.edu 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

Citations

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.

Standards for Design: Part 20 – Multiple opportunities for students to track their learning progress

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

This is the fifth and final standard in the third general standard of the Fifth Edition, 2014, Quality MattersTM Higher Education Rubric focusing on Assessment and Measurement. This post continues our discussion about creating meaningful assessment and how they relate to the idea of Alignment to the Learning Objectives.

Standard: 3.5 The course provides learners with multiple opportunities to track their learning progress.

This standard looks at providing students with multiple opportunities to track their progress. This can be achieved by creating ungraded self-check quizzes. Along with the self-check quizzes, you may also want to provide a discussion form for students to talk with each other and you about the test, as well as review any quiz questions they may have gotten incorrect.

However, there may be times when you will not have an opportunity to administer these quizzes or they aren’t appropriate to the assignments. Here is where the idea of Master based learning and teaching is important. Master based learning refers to a system where students are not able to move forward to the next section in a course until they have proven competency. There are a number of ways to utilize a version of Master base learning in your course. For example, you can offer students the opportunity to submit a second chance at a paper or project after you have offered revision ideas.

Another consideration is examining how often do you update grades and the gradebook. Staying up to date with the gradebook is important for a student to know how well they are progressing in the course. Overall, the idea is to create an environment of success and learning and giving the students the best chance to achieve.

Contact The Ohio State University Quality Matter Coordinator, Tim Lombardo at lombardo.89@osu.edu 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

Citations

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.

Standards for Design: Part 19 – Sequenced, varied, and suited assessments.

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

This is the fourth standard in the third general standard of the Fifth Edition, 2014, Quality MattersTM Higher Education Rubric focusing on Assessment and Measurement. This post continues our discussion about creating meaningful assessment and how they relate to the idea of Alignment to the Learning Objectives.

Standard: 3.4 The assessment instruments selected are sequenced, varied, and suited to the learner work being assessed.

In our earlier discussions about learning objectives we touched on how, even in a graduate level course, you may have to utilize some lower level Bloom’s verb at the beginning before gradually introducing the higher levels.

The same is true with the assessments. It is important to start with something like a multiple-choice exams before moving your way up to more authentic assessments such as writing blog posts or group projects. You should also strive make sure there is some kind of assessment each week and to vary your assignments. Later on we will talk about making certain that the navigation is consistent, which is different from having the same kind of assessment each week. Varying the types of assignments helps students demonstrate that they have grasped the concept that is being taught.

You want to be confident that students have enough time to master the content. Don’t go to fast and make sure the assessments you are using align with the learning objectives.

Contact The Ohio State University Quality Matter Coordinator, Tim Lombardo at lombardo.89@osu.edu 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

Citations

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.

Standards for Design: Part 18 – Specific and descriptive criteria

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

This is the third standard in the third general standard of the Fifth Edition, 2014, Quality MattersTM Higher Education Rubric focusing on Assessment and Measurement.  This post continues our discussion about creating meaningful assessment and how they relate to the idea of Alignment to the Learning Objectives.

Standard: 3.3 Specific and descriptive criteria are provided for the evaluation of learners’ work and are tied to the course grading policy.

I once attended a conference workshop that featured a panel of students who had taken online courses.  When asked what they would like to see in an online course, the students mentioned two main things.  The first, the students wanted to know that what they learning and doing was relevant to the course topic.  We addressed this issue when we discussed creating measurable and aligned learning objectives.  We will also expand this idea when we talk about making aligned assignments and materials.

The second issue mentioned by this student panel was about making sure what they were being graded on was clearly stated.  This is what we are going to talk about today.

A good tool to ensure that students are well aware of the course grading criteria is a rubric.  Rubrics outline the benchmarks that students are responsible for and the points associated for each criterion.  It is recommended to have rubrics for written assignments, attendance, discussions and other objective content.

Do quizzes and exams need a rubric?  It depends on the type of questions you are asking.  If you are asking a True / False or Multiple Choice question you don’t need to create a rubric.  However you might want to give a breakdown of how many of each type of question there are and how much each question is worth.  Essay questions on an exam should have a rubric with it, especially if you are asking the student’s opinion.  I remember when I was in school hearing many of my friends and classmates wonder, “How can I get the question incorrect if I am giving my opinion?”  It is important for students to understand that they are not being graded solely on their opinion, but rather more on how the opinion is formulated and supported.

In terms of rubrics for Discussion forums, you should note things such as how many times does a student need to respond, how many replies and what the definition is of a “substantive” post.  To help facilitate the “substantive” post and creative thinking, try using the feature in the LMS that requires students to create their initial repose to the discussion prompt first before they can see their peers’ responses in the forum.  If you are going to use this feature, it is important to list that this feature is being used in the criteria and directions for the discussion forum.

How do you start creating rubrics?  The Ohio State Writing Across the Curriculum has resources and guides on creating rubrics.  There is also a mandatory rubric for those courses.  Websites such as iRubic through Rcampus and Rubistar have resources and galleries of rubrics broken down by class subject and assignment type.

Contact The Ohio State University Quality Matter Coordinator, Tim Lombardo at lombardo.89@osu.edu 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

Citations

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.

Standards for Design: Part 17 – Minimum technology requirements

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

When I started this series of blog posts I was using the 2011 – 2013 rubric standards.  On August 1, 2014 a new rubric was introduced.  With this new rubric, QM made wording changes to some of the current standards as well as adding new standards to the rubric.

The last QM standard blog post was about standard 3.2, however there was a new standard added to General Standard 1 of the Fifth Edition, 2014, Quality MattersTM Higher Education Rubric focusing on Course Overview and Introduction.  This post will focus on this new standard; however it is recommended that you also go to an Applying the QM Rubric session to learn more about the changes that were created.

Standard: 1.5 Minimum technology requirements are clearly stated and instructions for use provided.

There are a multitude of tools and technology available to OSU instructors to assist in their online courses. While many of these can enhance a student’s online education experience, it is important to make a course work properly for students. This new QM standard addresses the use of these technology resources. What software and hardware do students need?  Where do they obtain the software or hardware?  How do they install it?

An example would be if students need to watch a Mediasite presentation it would be important to note that they will need the Microsoft Silverlight plugin and a link how to obtain it.  Or what if your students are going to participate in a Carmen Connect session?  They will need a headset with a microphone, Adobe Flash plugin and the Adobe Connect plugin.

Posting this information can easily be done by including it in the syllabus.  A good way to do this is to include this in a syllabus section in Carmen, since students will already have access to the internet if they are in the LMS.

Contact The Ohio State University Quality Matter Coordinator, Tim Lombardo at lombardo.89@osu.edu 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

Citations

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.