The Online Learning Consortium Unveils New Release of Its Quality Scorecard for Online Programs

The enhanced Quality Scorecard features 75 performance indicators for evaluating online programs, identifying areas for improvement and proving the quality of programs to accrediting bodies.

NEWBURYPORT, Mass. (Sept. 23, 2014) — The Online Learning Consortium (OLC), formerly The Sloan Consortium, today unveiled an enhanced Quality Scorecard for Online Programs, an easy-to-use program evaluation and measurement process that helps OLC Institutional Members determine how effective their online learning programs truly are.

“Since it was first introduced in 2011, the Quality Scorecard has become a trusted and essential tool for those involved with developing and advancing online learning programs,” said Kathleen S. Ives, DDM, CEO and executive director, Online Learning Consortium. “This new release of the Quality Scorecard incorporates three years of user study and feedback, making it more instructive than ever for developing quality online learning programs.”

OLC Institutional Members use the Quality Scorecard to evaluate online programs, identify areas for improvement and prove the level of quality of programs to accrediting bodies.

"The Quality Scorecard is grounded in research, best practices and expert opinion, so I know the University is well-served by implementing the self-assessment process and demonstrating our continuous improvement processes and outcomes to accreditors,” explained Debbie Thorne, Associate VP for Academic Affairs and Professor of Marketing at Texas State University.

The Quality Scorecard features five new performance indicators for a total of 75, and a higher score potential. Upgrades provide clarity and eliminate redundancy, along with making it more robust and easier to use. The Quality Scorecard now includes indicators which address budget, including financial and people resources, plus unlimited file uploads for supporting documents.

OLC Quality Scorecard at Work at San Jose State University

San Jose State University's School of Information, previously named the School of Library and Information Science, uses the Quality Scorecard to measure and market the quality of its fully online graduate programs. Results are shared transparently with all stakeholders by posting scorecard results on the school’s website.

The online degree programs that apply the OLC Quality Scorecard include a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science (MLIS), a Master’s degree in Archives and Records Administration (MARA), and a Teacher Librarian Services Credential program.

The MLIS degree recently earned the 2014 OLC Award for Outstanding Online Program, “For developing and delivering an online master’s degree that educates leaders who organize, manage and enable the effective use of information and ideas.”

“We have found the OLC Quality Scorecard to be a very effective tool for the administration of online education programs,” said Sandra Hirsh, professor and director, School of Information at San Jose State University. “The Scorecard provides a helpful framework for strategic planning and is used to evaluate programs, identify areas for change, and reassess annually.”

SUNY Earns OLC Quality Scorecard Effective Practice Award

The State University of New York’s (SUNY’s) Open SUNY Institutional Readiness (IR) program recently earned the 2014 OLC Quality Scorecard Effective Practice Award. Open SUNY is a system-wide effort designed to maximize online-enabled learning opportunities for all SUNY students. To prepare SUNY campuses for full participation in the Open SUNY online learning initiative, the Open SUNY Institutional Readiness program was created as an institutional approach to ensuring online program quality using the Online Learning Consortium Quality Scorecard.

“The goal of the Open SUNY Institutional Readiness program is to systematically increase the capacity of our SUNY campuses to ensure quality and success in online learning,” said Alexandra M. Pickett, Open SUNY Center for Excellence in Online Teaching. “We decided to build our Open SUNY IR process around the OLC Quality Scorecard because it is a nationally recognized self-assessment tool that is based on vetted standards and effective practices to evaluate and support continuous improvement in online programs.”

“We have designed a comprehensive process that involves self-assessment at the campus level using the OLC Scorecard, but then goes beyond that to include benchmarking, documenting best practices, and implementation planning for the campus, also based on the Scorecard,” added Kim Scalzo, Open SUNY Campus Partnerships

Accessing the Quality Scorecard

Institutional Members have access to the interactive Scorecard and its companion handbook. A free copy of the 6-page Quality Scorecard is available for download at https://onlinelearningconsortium.org/olc-scorecard. For more information about the OLC Institutional Membership with Quality Scorecard, contact sales@onlinelearning-c.org.

About Online Learning Consortium

The Online Learning Consortium (OLC), formerly The Sloan Consortium, is the leading professional organization devoted to advancing the quality of online learning worldwide. The member-sustained organization offers an extensive set of resources for professional development and institutional advancement of online learning, including, original research, leading-edge instruction, best-practice publications, community-driven conferences and expert guidance. OLC members include educators, administrators, trainers and other online learning professionals, as well as educational institutions, professional societies and corporate enterprises. Visit https://onlinelearningconsortium.org/ for more information.

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