Going Portable for QM Standard 7: How to help Faculty Embed Student Support Services into their Courses

Concurrent Session 1

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

QM Standard 7 asks us to think about how students learn to access resources like accessibility support, technology help, and tutoring. See how  building portable, open access course resources can help faculty bring support services directly into the classroom - even if they are not pursuing QM certification.


Mitchell Farmer is Assistant Director, Campus Partner Programs for the Office of Online Education at Indiana University. Mitchell supports the development of seamless online student services through a collaborative partnership model with offices across the IU system.

Extended Abstract

As with many of the Quality Matters (QM) standards, our office of online education recognized early that students would benefit broadly if courses met General Standard 7 (GS) in whole or in part and regardless of if the faculty member is pursuing full QM course certification. To support that view, we are building portable, open access course resources to help faculty bring support services directly into the classroom.  

For background, QM GS 7 (“Learner Support”) asks us to think about how students learn about resources like accessibility support, technology help, and tutoring. The four specific review standards are:

7.1 The course instructions articulate or link to a clear description of the technical support offered and how to obtain it.

7.2 Course instructions articulate or link to the institution’s accessibility policies and services.

7.3 Course instructions articulate or link to the institution’s academic support services and resources that can help learners succeed in the course.

7.4 Course instructions articulate or link to the institution’s student services and resources that can help learners succeed.

One of the challenges in developing solutions for GS 7 can be the frequent lack of visibility between those working on academic initiatives and those working on student support initiatives. As we built for-credit online courses using the QM framework, our instructional designers were also incorporating QM standards into non-credit student support projects, such as the online student orientation and onboarding project and the student-facing online demonstration course site. That encouraged our student services team to start to think about how QM can be a useful tool in designing student services for online learners.   

Our student services team started working on a series of projects that would begin to address GS 7, including:

  • Tightening QM alignment in onboarding and orientation resources: This allowed us the flexibility to quickly break apart and repackage different elements of the resources for use in support of for credit courses and in variations on learner readiness tools like the online course Test Drive experience.

  • Creation of non-credit academic support course: Leveraging our non-credit course portal we launched the first self-enrollment product specifically focused on academic support for students.

  • Portable math and writing support modules: These modules allow faculty to embed content about our 24/7 asynchronous math and writing support services into eligible courses. The content was created by the Math Center and Writing Center and included direct links to the platform.

  • Supplemental Instruction template: The new Supplemental Instruction course template allows student supplemental instruction leaders to fully embed into a course with a consistent structure for delivery of Supplemental Instruction materials and services.

Other colleagues began work on:

  • Faculty Starter Kit: The Faculty Starter Kit, a non-credit course in our non-credit portal, introduces faculty to best practices in teaching and learning in an online environment and connects best practices to QM standards.

  • Syllabus Template: This template ensures 10 QM standards (1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 6.4, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 8.6) are met with little work on part of the faculty. Faculty simply customize the content to fit their courses.

During our session, we will walk you through some of the key elements of these projects. We will provide some of the history and context for each project as well as lessons learned (and yes mistakes!). We will suggest strategies for identifying and engaging with key constituencies in teaching and learning, faculty development, and student success. We will also touch on how we structure QM review at our instituion. Finally, we hope to hear extensively from you! We will facilitate discussion to hear about your projects, best practices, and ideas for addressing QM GS7.   

Participants may benefit from bringing their own devices but can participate without a device. Session participants will be able to access sample student success resources during and after the presentation; however, this presentation is not intended to be a showcase of a particular student success resource. It will focus as much as possible on transferable strategies and tips.