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Quality Matters: A FIPSE project for Peer Course Review. A Grant Initiative of MarylandOnline Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education Fund for the Improvement of Secondary Education (FIPSE). Mary Wells (Co-Director) Prince George’s Community College, MD WellsML@pgcc.edu.

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quality matters a fipse project for peer course review

Quality Matters: A FIPSE project for Peer Course Review

A Grant Initiative of MarylandOnline

Sponsored by the

U.S. Department of Education

Fund for the Improvement of Secondary Education (FIPSE)


mary wells co director prince george s community college md wellsml@pgcc edu

Mary Wells(Co-Director)Prince George’s Community College, MDWellsML@pgcc.edu

Dr.Chris Sax(Co-Director)University of Maryland, University Collegecsax@umuc.edu

Dr. Joan McMahon (Process Committee Co-Chair)Towson University, MDmcmahon@towson.edu


fipse is competitive
FIPSE is competitive
  • 1550 preliminary applications
  • 150 invited to submit proposal
  • 42 funded projects (<3 %)

Quality Matters!


inter institutional sharing
Inter-Institutional Sharing

Maryland Online (MOL) is a statewide consortium of 10 Maryland community colleges and senior institutions that share courses.


quality matters key outcomes
Quality Matters: Key Outcomes
  • Replicable pathway for inter-institutional quality assurance (QA) of online courses
  • Faculty-centered, peerreview-based, consortium-wide QA process
  • Review tools that incorporate nationally recognized standards of best practice
  • F2F and online training
  • Expanded resource sharing and increased articulation agreements


quality matters inter institutional quality assurance in online learning
Quality Matters: Inter-Institutional Quality Assurance in Online Learning


what this process is not
What this process is NOT
  • Not about an individual instructor (it’s about the course)
  • Not about faculty evaluation (it’s about course quality)
  • Not about “winners” and “losers” (it’s about continuous improvement in a supportive environment)


for our purposes quality is
For Our Purposes, Quality Is…
  • More than average; more than “good enough”
  • An attempt to capture what’s expected in an effective online course
  • Based on research and widely accepted standards


Higher Standard




quality matters
How do we …

identify & recognize it?

Determine the Criteria of the Reviewers?

Develop a Rubric on Quality?

Quality Matters


session objectives
Session Objectives
  • Develop a rubric by:
    • Examining different brands of cookies.
    • Determining the criteria for review.
    • Setting the standards for the review.
  • Reflect on the process of determining quality issues and standards.
  • Project the implications for the process in online course review.


develop a rubric
Develop a Rubric

1. Determine the criteria of the reviewer

  • You must have had some experience in eating.


2. Examine the “goods.”
  • Open the different bags of chocolate chip cookies.


3. Establish the weighted criteria of the “goods”. These are your standards.

What are the criteria?

What weight will you give each criteria?


4. Rate and rank the “goods.”
  • How did you test the cookies for the quality indicators?
  • How were your criteria results recorded?


5. Revise the criteria

What criteria were the main differentials? Or the “deal breakers?”

What insights did you have about the criteria development/rating process?


the reflection
The Reflection
  • How did your group achieve consensus on the ratings?
  • What were the greatest challenges to arriving at a consensus ranking?
  • How comfortable would you be if you had to defend this rating before your vice president or before the faculty association?
  • Can your criteria be applied to all such similar items?
  • Is this process replicable? Can you use this process for other quality assurance activities?
  • What advice would you give to other quality assurance teams?


cookies don t just happen





Seal of Approval

What’s similar to quality online courses?

Cookies Don’t Just Happen!


analogy cookies to online course review
AnalogyCookies to Online Course Review


now what
Now What?
  • What do we do with “quality” courses?
  • How do we use our certified peer reviewers?
  • How do we tell students what this means?


session evaluation
Session Evaluation

For grant purposes, please complete the evaluation provided.

And thank you for your interest in the project.


additional information

Additional Information

Please provide your email address if you wish to learn more.


additional slides

Additional Slides…


quality matters qa process overview
Quality Matters:QA Process Overview
  • Review of online courses by teams of 3 faculty members
  • Using Rubric tied to national standards of best practice
  • Feedback provided for improvement of course quality
  • Instructional design support provided to implement recommendations
  • Certification of course when standards met


goals for selecting courses
Goals for Selecting Courses
  • Focus on quality
  • Continuous improvement
  • Positive environment
  • Low-risk
  • Increase number of “shareable” courses


quality matters courses
Quality Matters: Courses
  • MarylandOnline Shared Course List
  • State of MD Critical Workforce Needs:
    • Engineering
    • Teacher Education
    • Information Technology
    • General Studies
    • Allied Health


quality matters project management team
Quality Matters: Project Management Team

Project Co-Directors

Mary Wells Prince George’s CC

Chris Sax UMUC

Project Management Team

Kay Kane Project Coordinator

Cynthia France Chesapeake College

Jurgen Hilke Frederick CC

Wendy Gilbert MarylandOnline

John Sener Project Evaluator