Virtual School Meanderings

January 21, 2023

Standards In Practice: NSQ Online Programs – Standard M

An item from this “national standards” initiative.

Standard Highlight:  Online Programs

Standard M: Learner and Parent/Guardian Support

M2:   The program provides academic services and academic advising to address learners’ academic and developmental needs.

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Short description:  

The Wisconsin eSchool Network (WEN) is comprised of district-level online learning programs that have varying processes and practices in place to support students and inform guardians. A combination of strategies and tools are commonly used to monitor and communicate attendance, engagement, and adequate progress. The definitions, values, and strategies are subject to local decision making. In all of the instances below the outcome is only as good as the input, expectations, and interventions across users to ensure consistent application of these measurements. The integral components are the learner and parent/guardian supports implemented to motivate students towards success.

Note that Wisconsin eSchool Network (WEN) does not provide legal guidelines on this topic.

By Sami Mantyla, Executive Director, Wisconsin eSchool Network 

Examples of Student Support Strategies from programs within Wisconsin eSchool Network

Helpful Hints for putting the standard into practice

THE FOLLOWING HELPFUL HINTS AND RESOURCES ARE EXAMPLES FROM PROGRAMS ACROSS THE WISCONSIN eSCHOOL NETWORK.

  • Proactively work with a local team to incorporate attendance and engagement expectations into student contracts/handbooks.
  • Review the data points available to your program, and ensure the data entry process has been reviewed for validity.
  • Ensure all stakeholders are aware of the engagement expectations, especially those that will be engaged with holding students accountable, progress monitoring, and communicating.
  • Consider including initial awareness of expectations in the Student and Parent/Guardian Orientation process.
  • Reiterate expectations with various touch points including: newsletters, course “Welcome” folder, etc.
  • Determine local process for addressing students that exceed expectations, and for students that fall short.
  • Make an effort to personalize template communications to foster relationships.

Support and Interventions:  

  • Establish and have students sign a Student Agreement that includes online attendance.
  • Set up 1-on-1 discussions with students.
  • Reach out to parent(s)/guardian(s) through letters, phone calls, emails.
  • Develop improved education plans.
  • Ask the student to develop a plan that will get them back on track.
  • Implement supervised working sessions.
  • Set up meetings for students with counselors and administration.
  • Invoke state-wide non-participation
  • Invite students to a physical location in order to provide more support and structure.
  • Email progress reports to all stakeholders involved in supporting the student (sample).
  • Involve district truancy (specifically for supplemental programs)
  • Establish team of educators to help get the student back on track
Resources to support standard use

Links to WDLC Case Studies:

Author and Organization Bio 

Sami Mantyla is the Executive Director for Wisconsin eSchool Network (WEN).  Previous to this role, her primary focus was supporting WEN programs to ensure partner success. WEN partners with districts and schools who believe that online and blended learning is a learning model that can elevate the role of the teacher and offer unlimited choices for students regardless of any constraint or aspiration. Our most successful partners hold a comprehensive vision for online and blended learning. Beyond addressing immediate concerns like credit recovery or retention, these districts are striving to create environments where every learner thrives—within the school and beyond.

Check out the NSQ Website and  NSQ Professional Learning Portal for more resources.

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National Standards for Quality Online Learning · 6024 Deer Trace Ct · Dunlap, IL 61525-9662 · USA

January 20, 2023

QM Jan. HE Newsletter: Upcoming Conferences, a #QMquicktip and More!

Filed under: virtual school — Michael K. Barbour @ 7:09 pm
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A more higher education focused item from the folks at QM.

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Higher Education News

January, 2023

What Can We Accomplish in 2023?
Happy New Year! As we move into another year full of possibilities, it’s time to both take stock and consider the future. In this letter to the QM community, Executive Director Deb Adair reflects on lessons learned in 2022 and the opportunities and challenges we might encounter as we move forward into a new era for digital learning.

QM Conferences: Get Better at Getting Better
Digital learning is here to stay — which makes educators like you the architects of the new era of education. In order to support you as you create this bright future for learners, QM is offering many new and familiar opportunities for learning and community this year. Check out our slate of 2023 conferences below and plan/budget your attendance today.

Research Online Conference: Feb. 16 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:50 p.m. ET
Uncover research-supported best practices that you can use in your own work during this virtual, half-day event focused on the latest scholarly work by leading experts in quality assurance for digital education. Register now!

Higher Ed Quality in Action: April 28 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET
Take your online course design to the next level. At this virtual event, a curated selection of hands-on sessions will put you on a path to designing and teaching learner-centric courses that support success. Registration opens March 30.

Presidents Summit on Leading Quality: June 23 (Timing TBA)
At the Presidents Summit, senior academic leaders from a broad spectrum of institutions will come together virtually to help us better understand and facilitate the way forward for quality in U.S. higher education. Registration opens April 19.

Symposium on Data for QA: Aug. 11 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET
This virtual event focuses on data challenges, offering insights to individuals and institutions for planning/collection and making data-driven decisions on everything from course revision to QA implementation. Registration opens June 14.

QA Elevate Virtual Retreat: Oct. 6 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET
This focused retreat will help QMCs and instructional designers elevate the implementation of QA processes. We’ll talk about ways to kickstart QA planning, including support resources for faculty and connecting QA to accreditation. Registration opens Aug. 9.

QM Connect: Nov. 6–8 at the Radisson Blu Mall of America with pre-conference workshops Nov. 5
This conference brings our community together around topics central to improving digital learning. Approaches to Equity, Quality Assurance Across the Institution and Student Support are just a few of the session concentrations for the event, themed Milestones, Momentum and Innovation.

Call for proposals — submit yours starting Feb. 1
Registration opens May 3.

Ensuring Syllabus Comprehension
Quick Tip
A syllabus quiz with correct and incorrect answers is one way to ensure that learners are aware of key information presented in the syllabus that contributes to their success in the course. Consider engaging learners in a more open-ended discussion of the syllabus as well to build engagement and anticipation for the coming weeks. For example, in Icebreakers for Online Classes, the University of Waterloo suggests asking learners to share the topic that looks most interesting to them based on their review of the syllabus.
The Workshops You Want — Now Virtual
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Hit the ground running in 2023 with professional development to support your efforts toward quality assurance, now with more virtual options than ever before. Next month, you’ll be able to enjoy the following courses in a virtual, synchronous format — many for the first time.

View the schedule and sign up today to get an early head start on your 2023 professional development goals.

Share Your Perspective
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A group of higher education researchers is investigating perspectives on online quality assurance frameworks (e.g., Quality Matters, et al.) with the stated purpose of better understanding the experiences and perceptions of online instructors. The survey will take about 10-15 minutes to complete. We hope you’ll participate in the survey and share the link with other online instructors.
Congratulations!
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Please join us in congratulating the following Higher Education, Publisher and Continuing & Professional Education members for having one or more courses recently QM-Certified.

View More QM-Certified Courses >>

  • A T Still University of Health Sciences
  • Augusta Technical College
  • Austin Community College District
  • Austin Peay State University
  • Bucks County Community College
  • California State University-Dominguez Hills
  • California State University-East Bay
  • Cameron University
  • Century College (MN)
  • Clark College
  • Cleveland Community College
  • Columbia Southern University
  • East Carolina University
  • Eastern New Mexico University-Main Campus
  • Florida Atlantic University
  • Florida International University
  • Florida SouthWestern State College
  • Florida State College at Jacksonville
  • Florida State University
  • Georgia Highlands College
  • Hawaii Pacific University
  • Hillsborough Community College
  • Indiana University-Northwest
  • Indiana University-Southeast
  • Instituto Profesional AIEP
  • Instituto Profesional IACC
  • Iowa State University
  • Kent State University System
  • New Mexico State University-Alamogordo
  • New Mexico State University-Dona Ana
  • North Carolina State University at Raleigh
  • North Park University
  • Oregon Health & Science University
  • Rowan-Cabarrus Community College
  • Sinclair Community College
  • Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania
  • South Florida State College
  • South Texas College
  • The University of Alabama
  • The University of Findlay
  • Treasure Valley Community College
  • Truckee Meadows Community College
  • Truman State University
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • University of Florida
  • University of Louisiana at Lafayette
  • University of Maryland, Baltimore County
  • University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • University of Southern Indiana
  • University of West Florida
  • University of Wisconsin-Parkside
  • West Chester University of Pennsylvania
  • CPE
  • Region 4 Education Service Center
  • Teachworthy
Welcome New Members
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  • University of California-Riverside
  • Chapman University
  • Lenoir Community College
  • Northwestern Oklahoma State University
  • Queen Rania Teacher Academy
  • Sacred Heart University
  • Shaw University
  • Utah State Board of Education
  • State Council of HE for VA/GEARUP VA

Learn new strategies for addressing accessibility challenges with the Guide to Digital Accessibility, arriving this spring.

Learn More and Preorder

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Copyright © 2023 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:

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January 16, 2023

Learn more about the NSQOL at DLAC 2023 in February!

Note the promotion of the Canadian eLearning Network’s design principles session in this update from the NSQ.

NSQ is making a splash at #DLAC23!
Feb 7 (online) Feb 13-15 (online and onsite in Austin)

Dear Michael

Join us to learn more about the standards in one of these exciting sessions being held in Austin, or join us online to learn more about how digital learning can serve your school or district. Sessions at DLAC in Austin include:

Look Both Ways:  Crosswalking the Danielson Framework with the NSQ Teaching Standards. 

Christine Voelker – Quality Matters
Cindy Hamblin – VLLA
Allison Powell – DLC
Brandie Benton – Virtual Arkansas
Shannon Smith – Michigan Virtual

An NCAA Review Journey – Mapping the NCAA Criteria to NSQ Standards and Existing Best Practices to Save Time and Energy

Sarah Overpeck – NCAA Eligibility Center

Design Principles for Digital Learning and NSQOL Standards: Commonalities & Differences

Randy LaBonte – Canadian eLearning Network

NSQ in View: Making the National Standards for Quality Online Learning Work for You

Christine Voelker – Quality Matters
Cindy Hamblin – Virtual Learning Leadership Alliance

Virtual Learning Program Certification – Pilot Project UnderwayChristopher Harrington – Michigan Virtual Learning Research InstituteBrian Mott – Virtual VirginiaSarah Warnick – Virtual Virginia
Cindy Hamblin – VLLA

Effective Instruction using NSQOT

Zack Simmen – Lincoln Learning Solutions
Rachel Book – Lincoln Learning Solutions

The National Standards for Quality Online Teaching Poster Session

Cindy Hamblin – Virtual Learning Leadership Alliance
Allison Powell – Evergreen Education Group
Christine Voelker – Quality Matters

The National Standards for Quality Online Courses Poster Session

Cindy Hamblin – Virtual Learning Leadership Alliance
Allison Powell – Evergreen Education Group
Christine Voelker – Quality Matters

The National Standards for Quality Online Programs Poster Session

Cindy Hamblin – Virtual Learning Leadership Alliance
Allison Powell – Evergreen Education Group
Christine Voelker – Quality Matters

Check out the full program at: https://www.deelac.com/2023-program

Do you still need to Register? The price of registration goes up at the EOD today: January 21, 2023, but we are extending the lower price for those who have expressed interest in the Quality Standards. Email us at DLAC@evergreenedgroup.com.

 

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National Standards for Quality Online Learning · 6024 Deer Trace Ct · Dunlap, IL 61525-9662 · USA

December 24, 2022

Why We’re Grateful For You This Holiday Season

Filed under: virtual school — Michael K. Barbour @ 7:00 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Over the next few days, as a way to take a break for the season, I’ll be posting all of the holiday messages that I receive from all of the K-12 distance, online, and blended learning over the next few days.  The first of these annual holiday greetings.

This year, you exemplified continuous improvement — building stronger relationships based on sharing and developing fresh ideas, achieving more and going further than ever before in the service of learners. We’re so grateful for your hard work and presence in our community. Thank you!

Best wishes to you and yours from everyone at Quality Matters!

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 16, 2022

Standards In Practice: NSQ Online Courses – Standard A

An item from this “national standards” initiative.

Standard Highlight:  Online Courses

Standard A: Course Overview & Support

A3:  The instructor’s biographical information and information on how to communicate with the instructor are provided to learners and other stakeholders.

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Short description:  

Student-teacher relationships matter.  Educational research cites numerous studies that indicate that strong teacher-student relationships are associated with short and long-term improvements in multiple measures of student success.  Providing relevant biographical information and information on how to communicate with the instructor is essential to student success in the online environment..

By Meaghan Barber, Edi Cox, and Cindy Ambrose, Low Country Virtual 

Helpful Hints for putting the standard into practice

  • QM K-12 Standard 1. 7 C’s and 5.4 C’s annotations are helpful when thinking about NSQ Course Standard A3;

  • Use the self-introduction to build a foundation to form a connection with the learners;
    • Remember the essentials in the self-introductions: name, title, contact information, and field of expertise. Ex.:  Middle school team choosing to do one component of their self-introduction in a live format for students in an open house while also communicating important information

    • Share biographical information as well as some interesting facts. Ex.: Teacher utilizes a slide deck to accompany the welcome letter and video introduction.

    • Provide a photograph so that the learners can match your name and face.

    • Consider providing an introduction that is in multiple formats such as a letter, video, etc.

    • Remember – provide more information than just the basics – information on your teaching philosophy, teaching experiences, family, travel, and hobbies all help students relate to you and make a connection. Ex.: sample from a 3rd-grade teacher at Low Country Virtual.

  • Provide information on how to communicate with the instructor – both student and learning coaches refer to this information often. Ex.:  sample page for our student handbook, and all of our teachers include their office hour information on their course landing page. We provide information in multiple locations.

  • Provide information on what the learners can expect in regard to instructor responsiveness;

  • Include multiple formats for communication (phone, email, LMS messaging information) that are easy to locate within the course. Ex.:  Organize biographical information for the Open House just before the start of the school year.

  • Provide availability information (Times and Days of the Week Info)

  • Provide expectations upfront – for example, the expectation exists for regular communication and contact say so explicitly in multiple locations such as the syllabus, welcome letter, or course dashboard.

  • Share formats for communications that learners will receive so that learners and families know what to expect (Weekly communications, agenda, newsletters)

  • Make sure that the information is in a prominent location;

  • Think professional and approachable when seeking to address this standard;

Author and Organization Bio 

Meaghan Barber, Edi Cox, and Cindy Ambrose are members of the Low Country Virtual administrative team and have worked in the virtual learning space for over a decade in multiple school districts and states.  They are certified as Quality Matters Course Reviewers and currently facilitate the Design and Refine Community of Practice for the Digital Learning Collaborative. Meaghan, Edi & Cindy love learning with and from others.  Connect with them on the following social media channels and through the LCEC Podcast – Please Raise Your Virtual Hand.

@LCVirtualSchool       @lowcountryvirtual
lowcountryvirtual       low-country-virtual

Check out the NSQ Website and  NSQ Professional Learning Portal for more resources.

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Copyright © *2022* *National Standards for Quality Online Learning Project*, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
*NSQOL.org*

National Standards for Quality Online Learning · 6024 Deer Trace Ct · Dunlap, IL 61525-9662 · USA
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