Putting the Puzzle Together to Create a Quality Map for Online Programs

Concurrent Session 1

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

What components contribute to a quality online program? How do we address them all? Perhaps you're not even sure of what the components are! This presentation will identify the components and put the puzzle together so that you leave with a map for the development of a quality online program.


I have a BA in English from the Ohio State University, an MA from the Union Institute & University/Vermont College in English & Women's Studies, two graduate certificates from Appalachian State University (Media Literacy & Educational Media Instructional Technology: Web-Based Distance Learning), and a Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership from Capella University.

Extended Abstract

 While quality design is an essential component of a quality online program, it is not the only component required to achieve overall quality assurance.  How do you address the entire infrastructure? How you ensure that each part of the institutional infrastructure is addressed to achieve overall program quality would be the problem that this presentation will address. This is important to educators because the best designed course will fall flat if the delivery expectations of online faculty are lacking, or student support is nowhere to be found. This presentation will discuss the components of a five year strategic plan that was put together at a small, private, non-profit university that addresses course design, delivery,  content, institutional infrastructure, LMS, and faculty and student readiness. We are currently in year 3 of the plan and at a point that I am able to share information about processes that have been effective.

My plan is to discuss a dot on the road map and provide information about how we are addressing each component (or puzzle piece) at my institution. I would then like to have participants discuss how they are addressing the same piece or if they are not, how they would like to and what challenges they are having in their attempt to put this piece in place. I would then move on to the next piece and proceed in this fashion for the reminder of the presentation.

Objectives would be to:

Identify the components that lead to a quality online program

Apply processes discussed at their home institutions to put a quality puzzle together

Consider solutions to the challenges they face in getting the puzzle pieces in place to achieve quality online programs