Understanding and Assessing Quality Teaching and Learning

Concurrent Session 4
Streamed Session

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Brief Abstract

Are you an instructor looking to optimize your online or blended teaching? Maybe an instructional designer looking for ideas and tools to frame consultations and instructional development sessions with your faculty to prepare them for online or blended teaching? Or a leader working with your institution to prepare for accreditation and larger quality conversations? If so, mark your calendar for this session to learn from our panel of experts! 



Dr. Nicole Weber is the Assistant Vice President (AVP) of Learning at the Online Learning Consortium (OLC). In this role she works closely with OLC staff and global partners to advance professional development opportunities, continuous improvement efforts, and research in support of quality digital, blended, and online learning. Before joining OLC, she served as the Director of Learning Technology at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater where she led online and blended faculty development efforts, technology training for the digital learning ecosystem, and emerging learning technology exploration and evaluation, collaborating across the institution to support student learning and success. Nicole received her PhD in Urban Education specializing in Social Foundations of Education with an emphasis on designing engaging learning environments in 2012.
Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D serves as the Chief Executive Officer at the Online Learning Consortium. In this role, she provides the strategic direction for the organization and supports the development of key projects and programs to support OLC members. Dr. Mathes has 25 years of experience in both public and private education where she has continuously supported digital learning initiatives. In addition, Dr. Mathes is the author of the ICDE Report Global Quality in Online, Open, Flexible and Technology Enhanced Education: An Analysis of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (2019) and co-editor of the OLC Quality Scorecard Handbook: Criteria for Excellence in Blended Learning Programs (2017). She continues to write and present on key topics in online, blended and digital learning.
Kaye Shelton, Ph.D. is a Professor of Educational Leadership in the Center for Doctoral Studies in the College of Education at Lamar University. Previously as the Dean of Online Education for Dallas Baptist University, she led the development and ongoing operations of their online education programs with over 55 majors and degrees offered fully online. She is certified as an online instructor, teaching online since 1999, and also an online education consultant. Winner of the both the Blackboard and eLearning exemplary online course awards, she has published over 40 articles and book chapters in the field of online education, including a coauthored book entitled An Administrator's Guide to Online Education. Dr. Shelton was also awarded a Sloan-C Effective Practice award for her research on the Quality Scorecard for the Administration of Online Education Programs, the John R. Bourne award for Outstanding Achievement in Online Education and the NCPEA Morphet Dissertation award.  Dr. Shelton has been involved with research in online education since 1997 and has spoken at numerous conferences and workshops and advised peer institutions regarding the creation of an online education program and best practices for teaching online and faculty support.  Recently, Dr. Shelton has been involved in the national and international use of the OLC Quality Scorecard for the Administration of Online Programs as it has been adopted by institutions in Latin America. She is also an Online Learning Consortium Quality Scorecard program evaluator and teaches workshops regarding its implementation.  
Dr. Karen Pedersen has a long history serving in various administrative positions in both public and private higher education institutions and is currently in the role of Dean for Global Campus at Kansas State University. Previously she worked as the Chief Knowledge Officer for the Online Learning Consortium (OLC) where she served as a thought leader and fostered initiatives related to learning innovation, quality enhancement, leadership development, and institutional transformation. She has expertise leading award-winning online and off-campus units, working with faculty institution-wide, expanding partnerships, engaging cross-institutional academic operations, and pursuing integrated marketing solutions to realize significant enrollment growth and retention outcomes. Other experiences include serving on the launch team for a competency-based education initiative, leading a system-wide enrollment management transformation, and building academic collaborations in Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brazil. Prior to starting her administrative career, Pedersen served as a faculty member at the University of Nebraska. She holds bachelor of science and master of science degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a doctor of philosophy degree from Oklahoma State University.
Karen J. Solomon serves as Vice President and Chief Transformation officer at the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). She works with a portfolio of member institutions and is the Director of the Standard Pathway, one of HLC’s two options institutions have for maintaining accreditation. Since 2016, she has been leading HLC’s future-focused grant initiatives on innovation, student success, and quality awareness. Dr. Solomon presently serves as a public director for the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) and is a past chair of the WCET Executive Council. Previously, Dr. Solomon was the founding Executive Director of Illinois Campus Compact and served in various roles at ACT, Inc and higher education institutions. She holds an Ed.D. in Adult and Continuing Education from Northern Illinois University with a focus on adult learners and educational technology.

Extended Abstract


No matter your role or where you might be in your journey it is important to not only understand what quality looks like, but to also identify tools to help assess quality on the road to continuous improvement of courses, programs, and institutional strategy.  You will not want to miss this panel presentation that seeks to support participants in answering two key questions: 

  • What does quality look like in blended and online courses, programs, and institutional strategy?
  • What tools are available for assessing quality in blended and online courses, programs, and institutional strategy?

With extensive experience in blended and online learning in higher education, session panelists will share their first-hand experience working in higher education around quality, key components to consider, and tools that can be used for self-checks and deeper integration into quality initiatives.