Center for Instructional Design’s CQual Rubric: Quality Matters Course Review
Concurrent Session 4
The Center for Instructional Design (CID) at The University of Texas at El Paso works to ensure that all online courses offered utilize a framework of measurables that support quality course development related to online degree program outcomes. The CID team has created a rigorous CQual rubric, similar to a quality matters review, but with much more. The CQual assesses the pedagogical design of new courses in relation to course objectives and deliverable outcomes, student engagement and attrition, usability and accessibility in a learning management system (LMS), and provides a comprehensive technical review of the entire course.
Panel Title: Center for Instructional Design’s CQual Rubric: Quality Matters Course Review
The need for a quality check exists in all areas of the service industry, and is a valuable tool for ensuring that expectations are met and continually adhered to. The same concept applies to online course design in higher education. Many institutions in higher education utilize a framework of measurables that support a quality online course and associated degree program. Some of the more common measurables include:
- Satisfaction surveys for faculty and students
- Technical reviews prior to course launch
- Monitoring of student engagement and attrition
- Regular review of learning management system (LMS) usability and accessibility
- Program Director (subject-matter expert) evaluation of course content for quality and deliverable outcomes (Hirner & Koctanek 2012, Robinson, Hullinger, 2008)
The Center for Instructional Design (CID) at The University of Texas at El Paso works to ensure that all online courses offered to students contain the same high-quality standards mentioned above. The CID team has created a rigorous CQual rubric, which is similar to a quality matters review, but with much more depth. The CQual assesses the pedagogical design of a newly developed course, in relation to course objectives and outcomes. The CQual foundational design is loosely modeled after five benchmarks from The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE): “level of academic challenge, active and collaborative learning, student interaction with faculty members, enriching educational experience, and a supportive [online community] environment” (Robinson, Hullinger, 2008). Most notably, CID’s CQual rubric assesses the effectiveness of standard tools and features of a fully online course including a course syllabus and calendar, discussion board format, the effective use of social media. Once a CQual rubric has been completed, the instructional designer makes recommendations to both the instructor and program director. Ideally, these recommendations must be completed prior to course launch.
The Instructional Design team at CID understands that course design standards for online learners is fluid, and constantly changing based on emerging technology trends. As a result, our CQual rubric is revised every two to three years. We revise and update our assessment tool by doing research, providing teaching and learning workshops to faculty, and then surveying the respective faculty on what are the underlying challenges that come between rigorous course content and effective online assessment.
Conference attendees who attend this presentation on course design assessment will gain a strong understanding of a quality matters review for a newly developed online course. The importance of a detailed vetting process ensures that both students and faculty alike will benefit from each activity in the course, and it ensures that each activity or assessment is engaging and interactive. Attendees will be provided with an infograph handout, that highlights the major points of the CQual rubric, and directed to a link where one can download the entire CQual rubric for use in their own course design and assessment. The panel presentation will conclude with discussion prompts and commentary from CID’s online course designers, with hopes of a lively Q and A session.