Virtual School Meanderings

May 21, 2020

Celebrating A Huge Milestone And More K-12 News!

A newsletter from the folks at Quality Matters.

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K-12 Online & Blended Learning Newsletter

May 2020

Crossing the Bridge to Quality
illustration of people crossing a bridge drawn by a pencil
Whether you need to cross the bridge from emergency remote instruction to quality online learning or strengthen your existing skills, QM has resources to help.

  1. Tackle topics as a team with dedicated workshops. Designed for groups of 10 or more, these synchronous professional development packages can help you and your peers meet immediate needs, including assessing learning remotely and fast tracking to remote teaching and learning.
  2. Address next steps with one of QM’s asynchronous professional development packages. These packages are available to assist with individual and institutional goals, including helping those who are new to online teaching and building quality assurance.
  3. Take your online teaching skills to the next level with QM’s Teaching Online Certificate (TOC). The seven TOC workshops provide both current and potential online instructors with the experience of learning online from the student perspective. The QM Teaching Online Certificate is awarded after the completion of all seven workshops.
Quick Tip: Alt Text for Graphs
quick tip
Writing effective alt text for graphs can be very challenging. Yet, it’s critical so that students with visual impairments can read the graph. To meet that goal, follow recommended best practices for creating alt text for graphs. Keep in mind the goal is to describe the graph, not interpret it. Therefore, the alt text should:

  • Say what type of graph it is (i.e., line graph, scatter plot)
  • Describe the graph’s direction
  • Explain the graph’s colors
  • Share the graph’s values

For more complex graphs, consider providing a text summary instead. And to learn more about making your entire course accessible, check out the Making Materials Accessible QM Live! Series — offered as a dedicated series for 10 or more participants.

Congratulations on Positively Impacting Students!
the number 10,000 surrounded by gold leaves
We’re thrilled to share that the QM community has reached an incredible milestone for online course quality — 10,000 QM-Certified courses. The 10,000th course is the University of Southern Indiana’s Interpersonal Communications taught by Dr. Jessica Rick.

This milestone, though, is about more than just one course. It is about anyone who has had a course reviewed— all of our members who have earned QM certification, including K-12 course review leaders Michigan Virtual and Pearson Online & Blended Learning.

It’s also about the nearly 4,000 QM-Certified Reviewers and Master Reviewers whose unparalleled dedication to course quality results in hundreds of improved courses each year. We couldn’t do what we do without them — without you!

Join our team of reviewers. For a limited time, individuals can participate in the K-12 Course Reviewer Direct Pathway at a discounted price. Take both the K-12 Applying the Quality Matters Rubric and the K-12 Reviewer Course, for $300 — a 20% savings on individual registration fees. To receive the discounted rate, visit the registration page and select one section of each course.

#QMConnect Update
QM Connect Conference
As we look ahead to this fall’s QM Connect Conference, it is likely we will need to make changes to the format and delivery. While it’s too early to tell what those changes will be, one thing is certain — QM Connect will deliver the actionable ideas, aha moments and rich connections that attendees expect from a QM conference.

New to QM Connect? Get a feel for the QM community’s wealth of resources and depth of knowledge by viewing a few select sessions from our 2020 regional conferences:

You can also search all previous QM conference sessions to find ones on specific topics such as accessibility, alignment or student engagement.

QM IDA Leadership Nominations Open
Quality Matters Instructional Designers Association
As an instructional designer, you are making a difference for students every day. Now, take your efforts to the next level. Nominate yourself, or someone you know, for a Quality Matters Instructional Designers Association (QM IDA) leadership position. Open positions include:

Learn about the specific expectations for leadership positions, as well as how to nominate yourself or someone you know. Then, log in to MyQM to complete the Nomination Form. Nominations close June 30.

trophy with QM-certified on ribbon
Please join us in congratulating the following K-12 Secondary and Publisher members for having one or more courses recently QM-Certified:

Edgenuity Inc.
North Carolina Virtual Public School
Pearson Online & Blended Learning
Virtual Arkansas

View QM-Certified Courses >>

Welcome New Members
illustration of three people inside a circle with the words Welcome to the Community underneath
We are pleased to welcome new members:

Cherry Creek Elevation
East Baton Rouge Parish School System
Summer Discovery

Learn More About QM Membership >>

Looking for more best practices and tips to support quality online learning experiences? Check out #QMQuickBites for a host of resources, including information on Chromebook accessibility and choice boards.

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