Week 5: What is Quality?

According to Merriam-Webster, quality is defined as 1) how good or bad something is or 2) a high level of value or degree of excellence. So, what does that mean for blended courses? How do we determine the quality of blended courses? By what methods(s)? By what criteria? Quality imageAs a qualitative researcher I have relied on various criteria to determine quality. Similar to using triangulation as a method of ensuring validity of data, perhaps we should rely on multiple criteria when evaluating the quality of blended courses.

Student feedback could be used to assess course quality and effectiveness – both formal and informal. Take some time to write effective questions to ensure reliable, effective responses. Course artifacts could also be examined and reviewed. Colleagues could review components of courses – activities, assessments – and provide feedback. In addition, a formal assessment instrument could be used.

Quality Matters (QM) is a formal program or process for reviewing blended and online courses. The QM rubric focuses on course design using 8 general standards and 43 specific review standards. Finally, structured protocols could also be utilized by faculty in a peer review process. Case method and critical friends are two such protocols. Each of these protocols outlines specific guidelines and rules for examining the work or the artifacts.

Each organization should determine the criteria that will be used to evaluate blended courses. Various methods or criteria should be considered in order to assess both design (organization, navigation) and pedagogy (implementation – teaching and learning).

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