Creating a Culture of Quality: Design With Quality in Mind
So you’ve implemented a review process for online courses. While effective on an individual basis, how can you encourage a “culture of quality” more broadly throughout the institution? Participants will reflect on their own strategies for creating a culture of quality and explore and critique strategies UCF is implementing.
Quality assurance for online courses is a hot topic, and many institutions have adopted formal online course review certification processes. For example, the 2025 Florida State University Strategic Plan for Online Education includes the implementation of course certifications as a tactic for quality. The University of Central Florida began offering Quality and High Quality online course reviews in June 2017. This implementation was far from easy, as we developed our own standards, ensured they were aligned with Quality Matters, and created all faculty and instructional designer training and policies (this topic was presented at OLC Accelerate in 2017 as a discovery session). Since 2017, more than 300 Quality and High Quality designations have been earned by faculty at UCF. In 2018, we presented a session at OLC Accelerate which reflected on the first year of implementation.
In 2019, we presented our next area of focus which was considering how our institution could realize a broader goal from the state’s strategic plan: “The State University System will create a culture of quality for online education.” More specifically, we identified strategies to gain the attention of faculty members whose courses were not yet ready for a formal course review.
In this interactive discovery session, we will share the practices we have implemented to cultivate a university-wide culture of quality. By the end of the session, participants will be able to:
- Reflect on their own definition of a “culture of quality” and compare it to the presenters’
- Relate their definition of a culture of quality to the online teaching and learning efforts of their individual institutions
- Describe the strategies that UCF is currently implementing
- Critique the strategies and consider how they would work for them
- Offer recommendations to the presenters based on previous lessons learned.
To create a university-wide culture of quality at UCF, we have worked to disseminate the standards for quality and high-quality online courses in ways that (1) foster the expectation that all online courses be developed to achieve the quality and high-quality standards we have developed, and (2) inspire faculty to assess their existing courses in light of the standards and improve them as needed to meet at least the quality standards, and ultimately the high-quality standards.
Some actions we have undertaken to achieve these goals are (1) more closely aligning our faculty development offerings with the quality and high-quality standards, (2) disseminating to all our faculty who teach online rationales and useful strategies for meeting specific standards, and (3) modifying our website to make the standards more accessible and to embed support for achieving the standards.
By discussing our current practices at UCF and sharing artifacts with attendees, we hope to generate new ideas and inspire others to pursue this goal. Digital handouts will be provided to share information and connect with attendees after the conference. We will also showcase our materials including faculty development courses, websites, and newsletter messages.