Let’s talk about Quality: Time, Dime, or Badge.

Concurrent Session 8

Brief Abstract

How do you ensure quality courses when you cannot mandate course design? What motivates faculty participation: time, money, digital badges, or something else. Let’s have a conversation about what has or has not worked at your institution as you address the issue of quality in your online programs.


Dr. Beth Nettles, Manager, Learning Content Development, leads the Instructional Development (iDev), CDL Graphics, and Video@CDL teams at the Center for Distributed Learning (CDL). As team lead of the Instructional Development team, she has created a number of professional development resources designed specifically for faculty teaching online courses. Dr. Nettles has nearly twenty years of experience teaching programming, software applications, and web technologies in post-secondary education. She holds a Ph.D. in Information Technology in Education from the University of Nevada, Reno; a MA in Instructional Technology and a BS in Business Administration from UCF.
Dr. Linda S. Futch is the Interim Direction, Instructional Design, for the Center for Distributed Learning at the University of Central Florida. Her duties cover instructional design, technical support for online courses, and management of the course management system. Linda has been instrumental in guiding faculty development for online courses and developing systems to support faculty and students. She has developed curriculum and delivered instruction in business, high school, community college, and higher education. For her doctoral dissertation, Linda studied blended learning at a large metropolitan university and is currently studying the design of successful blended courses.

Extended Abstract

Identifying and acknowledging quality, while not a new trend, has received more attention lately as intuitions look for ways to measure effectiveness and equivalency of online courses. There are a number of nationally recognized tools and rubrics for measuring quality, such as Quality Matters and the OLC Quality Scorecard.  Regardless of the tools and processes employed, ultimately you need faculty buy-in to make a quality initiative successful. How do you ensure quality courses when you cannot mandate course design? What motivates participation: time, money, digital badges, or some combination of incentives.  In this session, the presenters will share what their institution is attempting to do with its quality course initiative and facilitate a discussion with the attending participates about what has, has not, might, or might not work at their institution as they address the issue of quality online programs.  A sample of questions posed during the session include:

  • What incentives motivate your faculty to rethink their course delivery; to voluntarily put their course through a quality review?
  • Do you pay faculty to redesign their courses to ‘quality’ standards? Does the amount of money matter?
  • Do you provide faculty release time to update courses? How much time?
  • Would faculty prefer someone else design their course to meet quality requirements?
  • Would a digital badge identifying “quality” courses be appreciated, useful, desirable?