Quality Matters Continues to Put Quality First with New, Updated Rubric For K-12 Educators

Industry: Education

The K–12 Rubric, 5th Edition, Reflects Current Research & Best Practices in Online Learning

Annapolis, Maryland (PRUnderground) September 10th, 2019

On September 9, Quality Matters launched its newest edition of the K–12 Rubric. The printed workbook contains two Rubrics with full annotations — those for K–12 and those for K–12 Publisher. The updates made in the QM K-12 Rubric, Fifth Edition, reflect current research and best practices in online learning for K–12 course design — as well as the role technology plays and the needs of the QM community.

“Given the rise of technology in the classroom, all learning is becoming digitally enhanced,” says Dr. Deb Adair, QM’s  Executive Director. “As online learning in K–12 continues its exponential growth, using rigorous, research-supported standards to ensure quality has become increasingly important. QM is here to support educators in taking that first step to evaluate their courses and ultimately improve online learning experiences for students.”

The revised QM K–12 Rubric has more examples included in the annotations and additional instructions for reviewers about determining if a Specific Review Standard has been met. Another new feature is the addition of notes related to reviewing elementary level (K-5) courses. These changes lay out a clearer path for using the K–12 Rubric to design, improve, and review online courses to support student success. 

A list of the Specific Review Standards is publicly available, and QM members have access to the fully annotated version as part of a suite of tools in MyQM. Updated Standards and full annotations are also in the printed workbook — for both K–12 and K–12 Publisher. The Rubric can be applied to courses developed locally for use within a school or district and to those courses developed for license or use by other organizations.

Additionally, the new QM K–12 Rubric complements the work QM is doing with the Virtual Learning Leadership Alliance (VLLA) to revise the National Standards for Quality (NSQ) Online Courses  — set for release later this month. “By closely aligning QM’S K–12 Rubric with the NSQ, we are making it easier and more seamless for educators who use these Standards to use QM tools to review and improve courses, achieve QM Certification, and visibly demonstrate their commitment to quality,” explains Christine Voelker, QM’s K–12 Program Director. “The ability to generate a report showing alignment with NSQ standards is a valuable tool, and it’s why QM Official Reviews are an important milestone on the pathway for creating quality courses,” adds Cindy Hamblin, Director of the VLLA.

Quality Matters commissioned Michigan Virtual — a QM Member and a member organization of the VLLA — to conduct the literature review and ensure that the K–12 Rubric, Fifth Edition is aligned with current best practices of the education community and relevant research. Additionally, elementary sub-committee members wrote new annotations based on what was discovered in the pilot. Candice McPherson, Rubric Committee Member and Course Design Coach for Virtual Arkansas, explains, “The QM Rubric has been a positive catalyst in our organization for improving the integrity and effectiveness of our course content. One of the most valuable guideposts of the Rubric are the annotations which give detailed examples and scenarios to enable reviewers and course designers to envision what a standard looks like in action. I see the revised Rubric having an even greater impact in organizations like mine from the extensive work the revision committee applied in clarifying and updating the annotations.” 

Faculty and staff can learn more about applying the K-12 Rubric and continue to deliver on their online promise through QM professional development opportunities. A free Rubric Update is also available to QM Members interested in learning about the changes to the new Rubric. 

For more information, visit Quality Matters.

About Quality Matters

Grounded in research. Driven by best practices. A community that puts learners first. 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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