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The Quality Course series is structured to allow you to take a look at your course through the lens of a quality rubric, in order to offer your students an improved, more interactive learning experience.  Based on concepts outlined in Quality Matters, you will evaluate your course's presentation, objectives, deliverables, communication, accessibility, and other aspects of course construction.  This is not a discussion of your content, per se; rather, the intention is to look at how it is presented, how students access and utilize the content, and how that might be improved.  Session descriptions are listed below.  Go to the Learning Opportunities page to register.

A partial list of the resources used to inform the continued development of the Quality Matters rubric is available at the QM website, and can also be retrieved here.

Quality Classroom I - Course Overview & Introduction

Starting from scratch, you'll take a look at your course and how it was put together, using the first standards group as a guideline.  Additional resources may be found below.

2012 Exemplary Course award winners may be seen here:  http://www.blackboard.com/Platforms/Learn/Resources/Community-Programs/Meet-Your-Peers/Catalyst-Awards/2012-Winners.aspx

Resource:  CSU Chico Quality Rubric.  Retrieved from:  http://www.csuchico.edu/tlp/resources/rubric/rubric.pdf

Resource: Quality Online Course Initiative Rubric and checklist from the Illinois Online Network (ion).  Retrieved from:  http://www.ion.uillinois.edu/initiatives/qoci/rubric.asp

Resource:  Quality Matters Rubric Standards 2011-2013 edition (with point values).  Retrieved from:  http://www.qmprogram.org/files/QM_Standards_2011-2013.pdf

Resource:  Netiquette Standards.  Retrieved from:  http://www.albion.com/netiquette/corerules.html

Session Time:  60 minutes, Presenter:  Sandy Valenti.  Prerequisite:  None

Quality Classroom II - Learning Objectives and Assessment & Measurement

 This session moves to the next two phases of the quality rubric.  It is intended to ensure alignment between your stated objectives and outcomes.  Also, how will you determine student comprehension of materials to be sure their activities and assessments provide a smooth, rich finish to their coursework?  We'll look at some activities your students might use to demonstrate understanding of the concepts.

  • Objectives:  What are they for the DEPARTMENT?  The COURSE?  Each LEARNING UNIT?
  • Which method of assessment is best for your stated objectives?
    • Quizzes
    • Research
    • Essays
    • Reflection Papers
    • Projects
    • Presentations

Resources:  Mager, R. F. (1997).  Preparing instructional objectives.  Atlanta, GA:  Center for Effective Performance.

From the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, this Learning Outcomes Handbook offers information regarding the creation of objectives and their assessment.  Retrieved from: http://www.uwlax.edu/learningoutcomes/resources/LearningOutcomesHandbook.pdf

Overbaugh & Schultz graphically describe Bloom's Taxonomy, in both its old and new representations, at Old Dominion's website. Retrieved from:  http://ww2.odu.edu/educ/roverbau/Bloom/blooms_taxonomy.htm

Kathy Schrock offers her alternate view of Bloom's on her Guide to Everything webpage.  Retrieved from: http://www.schrockguide.net/bloomin-apps.html

Rex Heer, at Iowa State's Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, provides this interactive model describing Bloom's and its applications at different levels on the cognitive scale.  Retrieved from:  http://www.celt.iastate.edu/teaching/RevisedBlooms1.html

Brookhart, S. M. (1999).  The art and science of classroom assessment: The missing part of pedagogy.  ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report, 27(1).  Washington, DC: The George Washington University, Graduate School of Education and Human Development.  Retrieved from: http://www.eric.ed.gov/PDFS/ED432937.pdf

Sewell, J. P., Frith, K. H., & Colvin, M. M. (2012).  Online asessment strategies: A primer.  MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 6(1), 297-305.  Retrieved from: http://jolt.merlot.org/vol6no1/sewell_0310.pdf

Resources:  Mandernach, J. (2006).  Thinking critically about critical thinking: Integrating online tools to promote critical thinking.  InSight: A Collection of Faculty Scholarship 1, 41-50.  Retrieved from: http://www.eric.ed.gov/PDFS/EJ902858.pdf

Session Time:  60 minutes, Presenter:  Sandy Valenti.  Prerequisite:  QM Session I

Quality Classroom III - Instructional Materials & Learner Engagement

What materials will form the basis of support for your learning objectives, and how do you plan to communicate with and engage your students?  We'll consider such devices as:

  • Textbooks
  • Style guides (APA, MLA, AP, Turabian, etc.)
  • Presentations (PowerPoint, Prezi, etc.)
  • Library resources
  • Journal articles
  • Pre-recorded lectures, using Camtasia or Panopto
  • Video/audio content
  • Images
  • Blogs/Wikis/Journals
  • Other technologies (web conferencing, etc.)

Interested in learning more about gaming in education?  The University of Tennessee's Simulations and Gaming page offers links, tips, and more.

Resources:  Essay Rubric from ReadWriteThink.

Rubistar - a free, customizable rubric creator for a variety of assignments.

E Reading Worksheets. This site contains multiple types of writing/editing/research rubrics that you may customize for your use.  Retrieved 4/24/12 from: http://www.ereadingworksheets.com/writing/essay-writing-rubrics/

More on rubrics, with why and how to use them by Heidi Goodrich Andrade, Harvard Learnweb

DePaul University offers rubrics creation tools and information regarding rubrics.  Retrieved April 24, 2012, from: http://teachingcommons.depaul.edu/Feedback_Grading/rubrics.html

The Association for the Assessment of Learning in Higher Education (AALHE) offers this sample rubrics site, containing many examples of rubrics used/created at institutions nation-wide.  Retrieved April 24, 2012, from: course1.winona.edu/shatfield/air/rubrics.htm

Session Time:  60 minutes, Presenter:  Sandy Valenti.  Prerequisite:  QM Session II

Quality Classroom IV - Course Technology

This session explores the technology that underpins your content.  How easy is it for your students to become engaged?  Is course navigation clear and efficient?  Are your technologies current?  We'll discuss ways to direct students to various update/download sites and look at link-checking and other technology considerations.

An interesting table of popups used to describe various visualization methods can be found at Visual Literacy.  Retrieved October 8, 2012 from: http://www.visual-literacy.org/periodic_table/periodic_table.html#

Interested in using games in your techology arsenal?  Susie MacFarlane curates a Gamification in higher education site on Scoop.it!  Retrieved October 8, 2012 from:  http://www.scoop.it/t/gamification-in-higher-education

Session Time:  60 minutes, Presenter:  Sandy Valenti.  Prerequisite:  QM Session III

Quality Classroom V - Learning Support & Accessibility

How do you inform learners of available technology and accessibility support?  Session five explores issues of accessiblity, page design, and alternatives to audio or visual content.

Emporia State's Office of Disability Services can help you connect students to the resources they need.

The Office of Academic Success provides information and contacts for students.

The Writing Lab is available to students as well.

Site design and accessibility information is offered at Joe Landsberger's Study Guides and Strategies site.

a verion of the Isihara color blindness test is given at colorvisiontesting.com

Here are several links that allow you to explore different color vision perspectives:  http://safecolours.rigdenage.com/colours2.html, http://colorfilter.wickline.org/, http://www.webexhibits.org/causesofcolor/2.html


The government's usability guidelines may be found here:  http://www.usability.gov/index.html

University of Minnesota's Duluth campus offers this site for color and usability:  http://www.d.umn.edu/itss/training/online/webdesign/color.html

Open Dyslexic is a font designed specifically for dyslexia, as is Dyslexie

 Writing for screen reader compatitibility is another accessibility issue.  WabAIM.org offers tips here:  http://webaim.org/techniques/screenreader/

Session Time:  60 minutes, Presenter:  Sandy Valenti.  Prerequisite:  QM Session IV

Universal Design for Learning

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is the universally accepted standard for designing accessible learning content. Accessibility can come in the form of designing for disabled students, but can also include students with learning disabilities and students whose native language is not English. This session will introduce participants to UDL standards and UDL tools and resources for designing accessible content.  By the end of the course, users will:

  • Understand the concept of UDL
  • Recognize types of multiple means of representation
  • Discuss means of learning engagement

Session Time:  60 minutes, Presenter:  Rob Gibson.  Prerequisite:  None

Take a Memo, Please (Dragon Naturally Speaking)

Dragon Naturally Speaking is commonly used for special-needs students who lack the ability to use a computer keyboard.  It is also helpful for any user interested in less keyboarding and more dictation to navigate a computer and its applications.  In this one-hour session, users will see Dragon in its full and mobile versions.  By the end of the session, participants will:

  • Be able to locate and download the free Dragon app
  • Understand the training process for Dragon
  • Describe uses for the Dragon software

If you experience hand fatigue from too much keyboarding, Dragon can help ease the stress by allowing you to speak your content and have it transcribed directly to your computer.  It is also helpful when attempting to close-caption a video recording for students.

Session Time:  60 minutes, Presenter:  Sandy Valenti.  Prerequisite:  None

Closed Captioning

In accordance with Title II of the ADA, closed captioning – or an equally effective proxy device or technology - is required in instances where individuals who are hard of hearing or deaf have difficulty hearing the audio portion of videos. Video content is becoming increasingly popular as courses move online. It’s important to understand the options available to address this concern.

  • Understand how to add captions to videos
  • Identify 2-3 products that can be used, including YouTube

What you will learn:

  • How Title II of the ADA applies to your course content – traditional or online
  • Options for adding captions
  • The difference between captioning and subtitling

Session Time: 60 minutes, Presenter: Rob Gibson. Prerequisites: None.

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