Virtual School Meanderings

June 2, 2020

Join Our Live Webinar: Equipping Your Institution With Online Learning Tools

A webinar from the folks at Quality Matters.

Join us for our free live webinar on June 4!
Learn about important academic continuity tools to equip faculty, students, and their families for online learning.
Due to COVID-19, higher education currently looks different. But faculty are still teaching and students are still learning. However, the tools they are now using have become more important than ever.
Join SmarterServices and Quality Matters for our free live webinar happening on June 4 at 2:00 p.m. EST where you’ll learn from stakeholders including students, faculty, and corporate partners about how they are using tools to have a higher level of readiness for learning remotely.
What you’ll receive during this live webinar:
  • Hear from one faculty member as they reflect on their experience from the Spring and prepare to be better equipped for future terms.
  • Hear from one student about lessons learned as they are now living back at home and missing the social college experience.
  • Learn what instructional design approaches and applications they are using to craft and deliver instruction.
  • Learn from SmarterServices and Quality Matters as we validate the services needed to measure learner readiness, foster faculty readiness, prompt academic integrity, and promote quality instructional design.
  • Find out what tools and techniques students are using to stay motivated, organized, and engaged in learning.
Panelists:
Dr. Mac Adkins
Founder and Chief Academic Officer
SmarterServices
Dr. Bethany Simunich
Director of Research
Quality Matters
Dr. Leigh Clay
Student Learning Coordinator and Adjunct Instructor
Indian River State College
Planning for academic continuity is now a reality for most institutions. By registering for this webinar, you’ll increase your level of awareness of how teaching and learning in the new normal impacts students, teachers, and institutions. Register today to join!
SmarterServices | Website
SmarterServices | 2005 Cobbs Ford RoadSuite 301Prattville, AL 36066

May 28, 2020

Free Webinar — “Academic Continuity Tools: Equipping Faculty, Students, And Their Families For Online Learning

Note this up-coming webinar from the folks at Quality Matters.

open laptop with QM on screen and icons of talking and figures

Academic Continuity Tools: Equipping Faculty, Students, and their Families for
Online Learning

Thursday, June 4, 2020 — 2:00 p.m. Eastern

SmarterServices
While education currently looks different, faculty are still teaching and students are still learning. However, the tools they are using are more important than ever. In this free webinar hosted by SmarterServices, you will discover how stakeholders, including faculty, students and corporate partners, are using specific tools to better prepare for learning remotely. You will hear from:

  • A faculty member about the instructional design approaches and applications she is using to create and deliver instruction.
  • A current student about the tools and techniques they are using to stay motivated, organized and engaged in learning.
  • Representatives from SmarterServices and Quality Matters about the validated tools and services they provide to measure learner readiness, foster faculty readiness, prompt academic integrity, and promote quality instructional design.

Planning for academic continuity is now a reality for most institutions — are you as prepared as you could be? Attend this webinar to increase your level of awareness of how teaching and learning in the current environment impacts students, teachers and institutions.

Register Now
Presented By:
Dr. Bethany Simunich is QM’s Director of Research and Innovation. She has worked in higher education for over 20 years and has over 15 years of experience in eLearning research, instructional design and online pedagogy. As QM’s Director of Research and Innovation, she helps provide research-based tools, ideas and solutions to enable individuals and institutions to assess and achieve their quality assurance goals. Her research interests include presence in the online classroom, online student and instructor self-efficacy and satisfaction, and outcomes achievement in online courses.
Mac Adkins
Dr. Mac Adkins is the Founder and Chief Academic Officer for SmarterServices. Under his leadership the company has grown to serve over five million students and 12,000 faculty from over 500 educational institutions. Previously, he held several leadership roles in higher education, including 10 years as a Director/Dean of Distance Education, and has extensive experience teaching online courses. Dr. Adkins also serves as a course reviewer for the International Distance Education Certification Center (IDECC), where he delivers the Certified Distance Education Instructor program that he authored and designed.
Leigh Clay
Dr. Leigh Clay is a Student Learning Coordinator and Adjunct Instructor at Indian River State College in Fort Pierce, Florida. Over the years, she has taught online, hybrid and in-person classes, and has grown to recognize and enjoy the uniqueness about each modality. Both of Dr. Clay’s current positions have helped her understand the struggles, joys, misconceptions, and truths about remote learning, allowing her to create and share resources that promote online success for both faculty and students.
Can’t make it? No need to register — because you opened this email, you’ll receive the link to the recording about one week after the webinar.
Quality Matters QM
Quality Matters (QM) is the global organization leading quality assurance in online and innovative digital teaching and learning environments. It provides a scalable quality assurance system for online and blended learning used within and across organizations. When you see QM Certification Marks on courses or programs, it means they have met QM Course Design Standards or QM Program Review Criteria in a rigorous review process.
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Our email marketing is permission-based. If you received a mailing from us, our records indicate that (a) you have expressly shared this address for the purpose of receiving information in the future (“opt-in”), or (b) you have registered or purchased or otherwise have an existing relationship with us. We respect your time and attention by controlling the frequency of our mailings.

Our mailing address is:

QM Quality Matters, Inc.

1997 Annapolis Exchange Parkway
Suite 300

Annapolis, MD 21401

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.

Congratulations!
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.
Edmentum
North Carolina Virtual Public School
Pearson Online & Blended Learning
StrongMind
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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Our email marketing is permission-based. If you received a mailing from us, our records indicate that (a) you have expressly shared this address for the purpose of receiving information in the future (“opt-in”), or (b) you have registered or purchased or otherwise have an existing relationship with us. We respect your time and attention by controlling the frequency of our mailings.

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May 13, 2020

Webinar Recording Now Available For “Building On Remote Instruction Successes”

This item may be of interest to readers.

Continue Your Journey to Quality
Online Learning

Thank you for your interest in creating quality online experiences for your students. The recording for —“Building on Remote Instruction Successes: A Roadmap to Quality” — is now available.

During the webinar, members of the QM team shared actionable ideas on how to cross the bridge from emergency remote instruction to quality online learning. Key concepts such as alignment, engagement and interaction were introduced as well. Many attendees had specific questions about those topics and other challenges they are facing. Here are some resources that can help:

Checklist on top of a stack of papers
Access Emergency Remote Instruction (ERI) Resources

computer screen with a light bulb on it
Delve Deeper Into the Concept of Alignment

headset with the words QM Live in the middle
Tackle Challenges While Learning Together
QM has short, synchronous, interactive workshops that cover a variety of topics that many asked about during the webinar:

These 2-hour workshops are available as dedicated sessions for your group of 10+, or a series can be custom-built to address your institution’s professional development needs.

Looking for more resources?
Review QM’s courses and workshops or search the Resources & Articles section of the QM website.
Quality Matters QM
Quality Matters (QM) is the global organization leading quality assurance in online and innovative digital teaching and learning environments. It provides a scalable quality assurance system for online and blended learning used within and across organizations. When you see QM Certification Marks on courses or programs, it means they have met QM Course Design Standards or QM Program Review Criteria in a rigorous review process.
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Forward to a friendCopyright © 2020 QM Quality Matters, Inc., All rights reserved.
Our email marketing is permission-based. If you received a mailing from us, our records indicate that (a) you have expressly shared this address for the purpose of receiving information in the future (“opt-in”), or (b) you have registered or purchased or otherwise have an existing relationship with us. We respect your time and attention by controlling the frequency of our mailings.Our mailing address is:

QM Quality Matters, Inc.

1997 Annapolis Exchange Parkway
Suite 300

Annapolis, MD 21401

May 2, 2020

FREE Webinar — Building On Remote Instruction Successes: A Roadmap To Quality

Note this free webinar coming up next week.

open laptop with QM on screen and icons of talking and figures

Building on Remote Instruction Successes: A Roadmap to Quality

Wednesday, May 6 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern

This spring saw an unprecedented pivot from face-to-face classes to remote learning, often with little time to make the transition. But you did it! Thanks to your hard work and dedication, countless students are continuing their learning journey. So what’s next? Unfortunately, nobody knows. That’s why it’s critical to prepare for whatever the future holds.

Join members of the Quality Matters team to discover how you can cross the bridge from remote instruction to quality online learning. We’ll begin with the foundational recommendations from QM’s Emergency Remote Instruction Checklists. Then, we’ll present a phased strategy to help you move from where you are to a higher level of quality, incrementally building on individual and institutional successes.

Register Now
Presented By:
Bethany Simunich
Bethany Simunich, Ph.D., is QM’s Director of Research and Innovation. She has worked in higher education for over 20 years and has over 15 years of experience in eLearning research, instructional design and online pedagogy. As QM’s Director of Research and Innovation, she helps provide research-based tools, ideas and solutions to enable individuals and institutions to assess and achieve their quality assurance goals. Her research interests include presence in the online classroom, online student and instructor self-efficacy and satisfaction, and outcomes achievement in online courses.
Christine Voelker
Christine Voelker is QM’s K-12 Program Director. She has been involved with K-12 education for over 20 years, with an emphasis on distance learning, library media, instructional technology and professional development. Prior to coming to Quality Matters, Christine ran a statewide partnership grant in Maryland. During this time, she also served as an Educational Technology Teacher Specialist for her home district, where she developed and coordinated the first student online learning program.
Suzanne Scheffler
Suzanne Scheffler is QM’s K-12 Program Manager. She has worked in education for over two decades, with experience in K-12 teaching, adult education and online learning. Previously, as an administrator for a regional adult education program, Suzanne oversaw an online and credit diploma program and served as a liaison to key state initiatives related to online education, adult education and mathematics. She also consulted as a math subject matter expert and course designer. Suzanne worked with Quality Matters for five years as a K-12 Master Reviewer and Facilitator before accepting an internal position.
Can’t make it? No need to register — recordings of QM Online Learning Webinars can be found on our YouTube channel.
Quality Matters QM
Quality Matters (QM) is the global organization leading quality assurance in online and innovative digital teaching and learning environments. It provides a scalable quality assurance system for online and blended learning used within and across organizations. When you see QM Certification Marks on courses or programs, it means they have met QM Course Design Standards or QM Program Review Criteria in a rigorous review process.
Twitter
Facebook
YouTube
LinkedIn
View this email in your browser
Copyright © 2020 QM Quality Matters, Inc., All rights reserved.
Our email marketing is permission-based. If you received a mailing from us, our records indicate that (a) you have expressly shared this address for the purpose of receiving information in the future (“opt-in”), or (b) you have registered or purchased or otherwise have an existing relationship with us. We respect your time and attention by controlling the frequency of our mailings.Our mailing address is:

QM Quality Matters, Inc.

1997 Annapolis Exchange Parkway
Suite 300

Annapolis, MD 21401

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