Virtual Teaching and Learning

Quality Matters #oltak


This week the English and math group reviewed one anothers credit course recovery Blackboard shells against the 2011-2013 Quality Matters rubric put out by the Quality Matters program found at

 As I went through my portion of the assessment review for the math group, I found myself thinking that I wish we had had this rubric in the first place as we were creating the different components of our course. Especially after watching Lee’s video of what each standard actually meant and how they were to be used in the assessment. But after some reflection, I’m glad we are privy to this information now and not prior. I do think some components of the QM rubric came as a natural focus because of all of our teaching experience and understanding of what our students need and respond too (for the most part). But having this tool has become an invaluable and important resource in refining our program and seeing through what Dr. Graham described as the “expert blind spot.”

 At first, I felt a little deflated, as did some other team members, that our hard-worked and amazing project wasn’t perfectly mind-blowing! Well, it is mind-blowing, just not perfect…yet! Now it feels like a relief to have a clearer direction to move in, know where we need to articulate and pare down materials, and honestly, the hard part is over…except for Jon, who will be the guinea pig in teaching this course for the first time ever.

 This process has been one of the greatest learning experiences I have ever been involved with…meaning that I am learning something new every step of the way..even now within the review process. The QM rubric is a great tool but an even greater asset was Lee actually explaining, in detail, how to interpret the rubric itself. That really helped me look at the material in a much different, indepth and professional light. When she says to watch the video, there’s a reason for it! 🙂

 We have a little ways to go; revision of wording, a few more examples and screencasts, additions to the syllabus and assuring that this course is kid friendly as can be! The only great huge obsticle I foresee is how in the world are we going to refine the grading process in Blackboard…if this course is a la carte, how do we create a gradebook for them to easily access, for immediate feedback on their completed work, that will make sense to a student taking every module vs. a student taking one…ahhhh, the it’s the little things in life that make it interesting.


Marylandonlineinc, (2011). Qualtiy matters rubric standards 2011-2013 edition with assigned point values. Quality Matters Program. Retrieved from


2 thoughts on “Quality Matters #oltak

  1. Hi Naomi,

    “The expert blind spot!” I wrote about this as well, but did not recall the phrase.

    The course is mind-blowing! When I even briefly describe what we are doing in this class as teachers at work ask about it, I notice complete amazement. It is one thing to teach a course, it is quite another to design the course, and many of us will use much of what we created to teach face-to-face as well; or as I would view it–a balanced face-to-face class that incorporates technology. These final touches are what will make the class even more special!

    I agree that Lee’s video was immensely helpful. The fact that her videos are so worth watching is another example to us that we need to keep the teacher lecture to the point, and devote most of our time designing so that we may facilitate–using our own expertise to do so. We are learning ‘how’ to really teach. Teaching is demonstrate, lead, guide, facilitate; not dominate. It is an art. What I realize through this experience is that we are needed more than ever! Not less. Computers and student-centered design just allows us to actually delve into our own creativeness, pair that with pedagogy and theory, then pull our students into the amazement of true love for learning.

  2. Hi, I really like the way your group came up with icons for the students to click on and borrowed it for the math class! I feel anything that simplifies the journey, avoids having students hunt and peck for what to do next only enhances the learning process. Thanks!

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