Quality Assessment

DCCC recently formed a Quality Assessment (QA) Panel whose responsibilities include constructing a tool, identifying a benchmark for success, and evaluating online courses using this tool and benchmark.  The panel consists of the Coordinator of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning and 7 veteran online instructors.  The panel is meant to rotate much like the faculty senate.  This semester we welcome back four returning members and have added on four new ones.

The Review (Click here for QA tool)
The QA tool  is a checklist that contains Does Not Meet, Meets, and Exceeds (with the exception of the first page).  A course is evaluated by two of the panel members, in which they do their own separate review.  The course designer is also responsible for doing a self-evaluation using the same QA tool.

The Meeting
The two reviewers and the course designer meet to discuss the reviews.  After discussing the items of the checklist, if it is determined that the course does not achieve at least a “Meets” on every item, then an Improvement Plan is created.

The Improvement Plan  (Click here for Improvement Plan)
The two reviewers and course designer agree upon a list of improvements that need to be completed by a certain date when the course will be reviewed again.  All three participants sign the plan.  Instructional and technology resources are identified to help assist the designer with the improvements.  When the course is reviewed again and achieves a score of at least “Meets” on each item, then the review is complete.

Implications
The results of the quality assessment process are shared with the course designer’s supervisor and will be included in his/her performance evaluation.

The Benefits
During the work of the QA Panel, we have identified the need for consistency for not only our students but our instructors as well.  And, we have worked toward providing that for them.  Now, all online courses must make use of the course announcements forum (Moodle news forum) and course syllabus (Moodle book resource).  Every Moodle course has the same “sticky” blocks which will provide a familiar environment for the students.  And we have put the QuickMail block at the top of every course so that students have an easy way to get in touch with their instructor.

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