A Quality Approach to Online Learning
Having identified a need to ensure quality online education for students, our institution developed a rubric to facilitate a quality online course designation process to improve distance education and earn state designation. This session will share strategies for the development and implementation of a quality assurance process and rubric.
Florida Virtual Campus (FLVC) is a statewide organization that offers tools and resources to institutions within the Florida College System (FCS), State University System (SUS), and K-12 schools (from FLVC.org). In support of the Florida Board of Governors 2025 State University System Strategic Plan for Online Education, FLVC developed an initiative to designate online courses as “Quality” or “High Quality” with guidance from the Quality Matters (QM) 6th Edition Higher Education Course Design Rubric Standards. Designated courses have met standards in the following areas:
- Course Overview and Introduction
- Learning Objectives
- Assessment and Measurement
- Instructional Materials
- Learning Activities and Learner Interaction
- Course Technology
- Learner Support
- Accessibility and Usability
With the growth in online course offerings following the COVID-19 Pandemic, one state college identified a need to ensure quality online education for students. In alignment with the state’s initiative, the College developed a Quality Online Course (QOC) rubric to facilitate its Quality Online Course Designation process to improve distance education and earn state recognition. The QOC rubric combines Quality Matters’ 6th Edition Higher Education Rubric Essential Standards, internal evaluative instruments (Faculty Online Observation Form, Student Perception of Instruction), and their guidelines for teaching in the online environment, as well as college procedures.
Through this initiative, faculty participate in an eight-week seminar facilitated by instructional designers to learn instructional design theory, strategy, and best practices for online course design. Participants engage with their cohort in a community of practice that meets three times (beginning, middle, and end) to facilitate collaboration, idea sharing, and practical application. In addition to the community of practice sessions, participants partner with instructional designers one-on-one for dedicated discussion centered around their course design. The main component of the review process is a self-assessment completed by the faculty member using the rubric worksheet. The faculty then receive feedback from the instructional designers to revise their course design for final approval. As part of the self-reflection process, faculty must complete an evidence worksheet that utilizes the feedback in the revision process to demonstrate the application of the recommendations to improve the course design. Upon completion, the faculty receive institutional badging for their course and individual personnel page, recognition in the Florida Shines Catalog, accolades from the College’s LinkedIn, and monetary compensation.
This session will share take-home strategies for planning, developing, and implementing a quality assurance process.
Upon completion of this session, viewers will be able to:
- Identify strategies for the development and implementation of a quality assurance process.
- Examine the quality designation process and rubric.
- Explore the instructional design seminar.
- Compare data points from prior participation to completion of the quality designation process as it relates to rubric score and accessibility.