Our Journey to Exemplary with the OLC Quality Scorecard for the Administration of Online Programs

Streamed Session

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Session Materials

Brief Abstract

Experience the process of benchmarking a program against the OLC Quality Scorecard for the Administration of Online Programs. You will hear about our journey to Exemplary, how we completed our internal review (e.g., tools, processes) along with how we are leveraging the review findings to continuously improve our online program.

Extended Abstract

Topic and Relevance:

Proving that quality exists within online education programs can be a daunting and complex task. Typically, metrics such as course completion, student logins, survey responses, and internal reviews are used to demonstrate engagement and quality outcomes. These instruments lack the authority of a rigorous program review by an outside body of experts.  Nevertheless, we as educators must continue the quest to achieve the ideal learning environment and share effective practices for advancing quality for our students. At the same time, we need to demonstrate to all stakeholders that online education works, and works well, if guidelines and standards are followed like the Online Learning Consortium’s Quality Scorecard for the Administration of Online Programs (OLC QSAOP). The scorecard is helpful in:

  • providing benchmarks and standards to evaluate your online learning program
  • determining strengths and weaknesses of your online learning program
  • initiating planning efforts towards focused areas of improvement
  • demonstrating elements of quality within your program, as well as an overall level of quality, to higher education accrediting bodies
  • giving steps needed to identify, measure and quantify elements of quality within an online education program
  • providing the metrics to uncover and evaluate quality indicators in key categories which include institutional support, technology support, course development / instructional design, course structure, teaching & learning, social and student engagement, faculty support, student support and evaluations & assessment

Our session will introduce you to the components of the OLC QSAOP and tell our story. You will hear about our journey and experience of the quality review process. We will share how we planned, implemented, executed, engaged stakeholders and collaborated across our institution to complete our internal review, and how we are leveraging the OLC external review findings report to continuously improve our online program. 

Session Goals:

In this session, you will be able to discuss which resources and approaches we have used, which can be applied to your own online program internal review using the OLC QSAOP. You will be able to identify which of the following strategies will be effective, efficient and practical to your institution:

  • Identify lead coordinator(s) who will manage the review team and the internal review process
  • Create project specifications that include team roles and responsibilities, timeline and milestone deliverables, lead coordinator for each OLC QSAOP category, review steps and phases, and links to relevant files and folders
  • Meet with the OLC QSAOP coordinators for project specifications feedback, questions and/or clarifications
  • Hold a kick-off meeting with the review team to discuss project specifications and communication channels 
  • Build a technology ecosystem that includes shared drives for organizing materials, resources and artifacts, project management tool for staying on track, and communication and collaboration tools for collecting evidence from team members within and across departments
  • Select a consistent naming convention and specification for all assets (i.e., files, folders, artifacts, screen captures, resource links)
  • Enumerate and navigate course, department, school and campus resources with artifacts that can justify quality indicator scores
  • Establish review phases such as initial review, collect evidence, score quality indicator, write justification, organize artifacts, copy-edit, final review

Finally, you will have an opportunity to discuss with us the lessons we have learned, what worked and what didn’t, additional tips, and the steps we are taking to improve our online program after receiving the OLC external review findings report.

Participation Level:

This session will start with a quick poll on your familiarity with the OLC Quality Scorecard for the Administration of Online Programs and a presentation of our internal review process. We will share some quality indicators and ask how it may be scored and addressed in your institution. Then, we will share how we scored ours based on the evidence we collected so you can see our review phases in action. Following this activity will be an open forum where you can ask questions and share which strategy could be useful in your particular institution.