Virtual School Meanderings

January 20, 2021

Opportunities to Connect in 2021 and More Higher Ed News!

Filed under: virtual school — Michael K. Barbour @ 1:01 pm
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Interestingly, I often get a K-12 version within minutes, but not this time.

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Higher Education News

January 2021

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Seize the New Year
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In 2020, over 36,000 individuals participated in QM professional development workshops and courses — highlighting an extraordinary commitment to delivering on their online promise. In her 2021 letter to the community, QM Executive Director Dr. Deb Adair looks ahead at how we, as a community, can build on that commitment and drive change in 2021 that ensures quality for all students regardless of modality.

Read more >>

Improve Communication with Templates
quick tip
Communicating with students is often tricky and time-consuming. Templates can help with consistency and connection. At QM ConnectLX, Drs. Stephanie TeKippe and Maryam Rod Szabo provided tips and examples of how they use email templates to share course highlights and news. A couple of tips:

  • Keep emails simple
  • Use a strong subject line
  • Send emails on the same day(s) each week

Watch the QM ConnectLX presentation “Building Templates to Improve Faculty and Students Experience, Collaboration, and Engagement” to see examples and learn more. Course design templates are also discussed.

Leading the Way!

Congratulations to Universidad Autonoma del Noreste and the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez (UPRM) — both institutions recently had their first course QM Certified. In fact, UPRM is the first institution in the Caribbean to earn the QM Certification Mark!
quotes from Dr. José Ferrer López and Armando José Sanchez about QM course reviews.
Free Research Conference

February 9, 2021
1:00 – 4:30 p.m. ET
Free Virtual Event
Register Now
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A great opportunity to learn more about the research happening in online learning and ways to apply it.
Virtual QM Events in 2021
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Connecting with best practices, fresh ideas and your peers plays a critical role in helping you meet the needs of your diverse learners. Don’t miss these 2021 interactive learning opportunities designed to meet the specific needs of our community. All events will be virtual, ensuring the safety of our community while allowing more educators to participate.

  1. Higher Ed Quality in Action — April 9 (registration starts at $125)
  2. Q-Up for K-12 Digital Quality — October 15
  3. QM ConnectLX — November 3 – 5 (registration starts at $300)
  4. Presidents Summit on Leading Quality — June
Congratulations!
Please join us in congratulating the following Higher Education, Publisher and Continuing & Professional Education members for having one or more courses recently QM-Certified:
Austin Peay State University
Brunswick Community College
Catawba Valley Community College
Cleveland Community College
Coastal Carolina Community
College
Colorado Community Colleges
Online
Columbia Southern University
Concord University
Delaware County Community
College
Florida International University
Florida SouthWestern State College
Florida State College at Jacksonville
Forsyth Technical Community
College
Galen College of Nursing-Louisville
Indiana University-Southeast
Inver Hills Community College
Kent State University System
Laredo College
Minnesota West Community and Technical College
New Mexico State University-Alamogordo
North Park University
Oregon State University
Piedmont Community College
Pitt Community College
Plymouth State University
Polk State College
Rogers State University
Salve Regina University
Sampson Community College
Southeastern Community College (NC)
Southwestern Community College
Texas A & M International University
The University of Findlay
The University of Tennessee-Chattanooga
TNTP
University of Alabama at Birmingham
University of Dallas
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
University of Southern Indiana
University of West Florida
Virtual Arkansas
West Chester University of Pennsylvania

View QM-Certified Courses >>

Welcome New Members

Learn More About QM Membership >>

Now available: seats in our popular Teaching Online workshop. Learn about best practices for teaching online, getting and keeping students engaged, and facilitating online discussions. Register now for the Jan. 28 session or the Feb. 4 session.

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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:

Quality Matters

1997 Annapolis Exchange Parkway
Suite 300

Annapolis, MD 21401

December 24, 2020

Thank You, Michael

Filed under: virtual school — Michael K. Barbour @ 7:00 am
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Over the next three days I’ll be posting the stock holiday greetings I have received from the various K-12 distance, online, and/or blended learning organizations, companies, and listserves that I receive.

What I believe may be the first holiday greeting I received this year.

In a year filled with uncertainty and countless challenges, you and the entire QM community served as a beacon of light — providing hope and guidance to students and educators. Your experience and expertise truly made a difference. Thank you!

Best wishes to you and your family for health and happiness in the coming year.

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:

Quality Matters

1997 Annapolis Exchange Parkway
Suite 300

Annapolis, MD 21401

December 17, 2020

Designing Culturally Responsive Courses and More K-12 News!

Filed under: virtual school — Michael K. Barbour @ 4:07 pm
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The K-12 newsletter from Quality Matters.

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K-12 Online & Blended Learning Newsletter

December 2020

Resource Recap
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The end of the year doesn’t mean the end of your need for resources. Here’s a list to help and to share:

Course Design Guide Updated
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“Teaching and learning that respects and reflects students’ unique lived experiences help create equitable, holistic learning environments,” shared Chris Voelker, QM K-12 Program Director. “That’s why we added culturally responsive design considerations to the Bridge to Quality Course Design Guide. Now, teachers and others can design courses that are representative of all of their students from the start.”

The additions to the guide would not have been possible without the knowledge, expertise and hard work of the Culturally Responsive Design Committee. Learn more about the work and the committee in, “Support Student Success With Culturally Responsive Course Design.”

To learn more about the changes, watch Chris’s screencast.

International Influence
Dr. Deb Adair
QM’s Executive Director Dr. Deb Adair was recently selected to serve on the International Advisory Committee for eLearning under the direction of the National eLearning Center (NELC) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. With guidance from the Director General of the NELC, Deb and other committee members will help guide e-learning across all sectors of the Kingdom.

Deb’s selection is another milestone in the growing global commitment to quality assurance in online education and digital learning. QM is now represented in 26 countries across six continents. Deb and other members of the QM leadership team are also actively involved with several international organizations, including the International Council for Open and Distance Education and the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education.

Quick Tip: Accessibility Policies
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Looking to create an accessibility policy for your  online courses/programs? Be sure to include the following:

  • A statement of commitment
  • Definitions of roles and responsibilities by departmental unit
  • The scope of the policy
  • Procedures for monitoring compliance

For more information on developing an accessibility policy, please review QM’s Accessibility Policy Creation Guidelines. And don’t forget to check out QM’s K-12 Companion for IEP & 504 Plans to help create remote learning experiences that are equitable for all students.

Congratulations!
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Please join us in congratulating the following K-12 members for having one or more courses recently QM Certified:

Edgenuity Inc.
Edmentum
Graduation Alliance
International Academy of Science
Michigan Virtual
StrongMind

View QM-Certified Courses >>

Welcome New Members
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We are pleased to welcome new members:

Bethel School District
East Rowan High School

South Dakota Consortium — the Department of Education and 151 affiliate districts
Tawjih for Educational Consultancy

Learn More About QM Membership >>

Save the date! Join your colleagues on February 9, 2021, for QM’s FREE, half-day online research conference. Presentation topics include: accessibility, data collection for improving quality, teaching presence, and more! Register today!

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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:

Quality Matters

1997 Annapolis Exchange Parkway
Suite 300

Annapolis, MD 21401

November 19, 2020

Recent Findings on Digital Accessibility and More K-12 News!

Filed under: virtual school — Michael K. Barbour @ 10:04 pm
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The K-12 newsletter from the folks at Quality Matters.

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K-12 Online & Blended Learning Newsletter

November 2020

Reflect on Your Teaching Practices
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Quality Matters, the Virtual Learning Leadership Alliance and 2gnoMe are excited to announce the formal launch of the National Standards for Quality Online Teaching Professional Learning Portal. Powered by 2gnoMe, this powerful new portal allows teachers to reflect on their teaching practice in relation to the National Standards for Quality Online Teaching. Self-reflections are used to match high-quality and aligned professional development resources to individual needs and strengths. This approach puts teachers on a path towards improving their practice as instructors, both in blended and online formats. The portal also allows system leaders to customize all elements of their teachers’ professional learning experience (e.g., mentoring, professional learning communities, and other supports) around each teacher.
Your Opinion Matters
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We know you have great ideas. This is your chance to share them. Please take a few minutes to complete a brief survey and let us know how we can best meet your needs. The more input the better — so please share this survey with your colleagues. All responses are due by December 2, 2020.

Updates to Reviewer Roles
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This year hasn’t been easy for anyone. That’s why we’re modifying the requirements for our Course Reviewer and Master Reviewer roles:

  • The online teaching requirement for current Peer Reviewers is being extended by one year. This means your most recent online, for-credit teaching experience can be from the last 30 months, rather than 18 months.
  • The annual Master Reviewer recertification for 2021 is being waived.

Additionally, to help Master Reviewers stay connected, we’ll be updating and adding resources to the Master Reviewer Resource Site next year.

Questions? Please contact the course review team.

Recent Findings on Digital Accessibility
Administrative Supports for Digital Accessibility: Policies and Processes
This year’s move to online classes brought an uptick in accessibility lawsuits — shining a spotlight on the digital accessibility challenges institutions continue to grapple with. But that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been progress.

According to a survey of Higher Education QM Coordinators, there has been significant growth in the development of institutional digital accessibility policies over the last decade. This is just one finding from the 2019 Accessibility Policy Survey conducted by Rae Mancilla, Ed.D., from the University of Pittsburgh, and Barbara Frey, D.Ed., from Point Park University. All results will be shared in a series of white papers. Recommendations for administrators, faculty, instructional staff, and disability services experts in developing inclusive online materials will also be included. Download the first paper in the series today.

Quick Tip: Course Format Chart
quick tip
Wondering if your course is eligible for an Official Review? Find out with QM’s Course Format Chart. The chart provides QM’s definitions for various course modalities and explains whether the Rubric can be applied to the course in an Official Review. One question we get asked a lot is if web-enhanced and synchronous Zoom-based courses can be officially reviewed. As you can see from the chart, they cannot. Those formats are not the same as online courses.
Thank You!
QM Connect LX online conference

The 2021 QM Connect Conference will be virtual.  Dates and details coming in early 2021.
As Steve Kaufman noted on Twitter, “Couldn’t be more impressed with @QMProgram’s #QMConnect this year. Great presentations. Engaging presenters. Awesome sponsors. All-around, top-notch.” But we certainly could not have done it without all of you! Huge thanks to everyone — the program committee, presenters, attendees, sponsors, exhibitors, room hosts, and anyone we are forgetting — who helped make this year’s QMConnectLX Conference great!

One of the many highlights — the QM Awards Ceremony. If you missed it, take a moment to watch the videos from this year’s Making a Difference for Student Award winners:

Plus, learn more about other conference happenings as sponsor Walden University takes you behind the scenes of QM ConnectLX.

Congratulations!
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Please join us in congratulating the following K-12 members for having one or more courses recently QM Certified:

Apex Learning, Inc.
Brigham Young University Independent Study
Edgenuity Inc.
Edmentum
Graduation Alliance
Michigan Virtual
StrongMind

View QM-Certified Courses >>

Welcome New Members
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We are pleased to welcome new members:

eDynamic Learning
Horry County Schools
Illinois Mathematics & Science Academy
Kershaw County School District
Oaks Christian Online
Rockland BOCES
Title V Edrising Eastern New Mexico University

Learn More About QM Membership >>

Up your online game with the K-12 Applying the Quality Matters Rubric (K-12 APP) workshop. Learn how to use the QM Rubric and apply it to a real course! Already completed the K-12 APP? Take your skills to the next level with the K-12 Reviewer Course! Sessions start soon!

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Copyright © 2020 Quality Matters, 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:

Quality Matters

1997 Annapolis Exchange Parkway
Suite 300

Annapolis, MD 21401

October 23, 2020

Official Launch of the NSQ Online Teaching Professional Learning Portal

A notice from the folks behind these “national standards.”

The National Standards for Quality (NSQ) provide the K-12 community with an updated set of openly licensed standards (formerly iNACOL standards) to help evaluate and improve online courses, online teaching, and online programs.

Dear Michael

We are excited to announce the official launch of the NSQ Teaching Professional Learning Portal powered by 2gnoMe. The portal offers personalized professional learning resources aligned to the NSQ Online Teaching Standards.  Users begin with a self-reflection diagnostic to assess their knowledge and skills tied to the NSQ Online Teaching Standards and indicators.  Based on diagnostic results, users are directed to personalized professional learning resources that have been made available by the Virtual Learning Leadership Alliance and Quality Matters.  Future expansion of the portal will include vetted high-quality resources from other organizations. 

We hope that you have had some time to explore the site and we appreciate the feedback that we’ve received thus far. 

You may have seen today’s Press Release announcing the official launch. We hope that this new portal can help your organization – and we’re counting on you to spread the word to your networks and schools and other partners that would benefit from professional learning aligned to the National Standards for Quality Online Teaching.

Here are some easy ways to spread the word:

  1. Send an email: Feel free to utilize or modify this sample.

  2. Post on Social Media (Here’s a sample post):

Looking forward to taking the free #OnlineTeaching self-assessment and finding #quality #ProfessionalLearning opportunities aligned to my results at the new #NSQ Professional Learning Portal by @QMProgram, @VLLAOnline & @2gnoMe: https://nsq.2gno.me/ 

Thank you for your ongoing support!


Christine Voelker (cvoelker@qualitymatters.org) and Cindy Hamblin (chamblin@k12vls.org)

NSQ Project Managers

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