University of Southern Indiana Course Becomes 10,000th Course Certified by Quality Matters

Industry: Education

Milestone highlights the global commitment to quality assurance in online and blended course design — impacting 3.6 million students since 2005

Annapolis, MD (PRUnderground) May 6th, 2020

Quality Matters (QM), the global organization leading quality assurance in online and innovative digital teaching and learning environments, and the University of Southern Indiana (USI), a public higher education institution located in Evansville, Indiana, announced today that USI’s CMST 107 Interpersonal Communications is the 10,000th course to earn QM Certification worldwide.  

Online and blended courses can become QM-Certified for course design quality upon meeting QM Standards during an official review managed by QM or by a qualifying subscriber. During a review, course design components such as learning objectives, course technology and accessibility are evaluated against QM Rubrics and Standards, which reflect research-supported best practices. To earn certification, a course must meet 85% of Standards, including all Essential Standards.

USI has been an active member of QM since 2013. During that time, more than 240 faculty and staff have engaged with QM professional development and 199 courses have been reviewed — including 53 that went through the official review process and earned the QM Certification Mark. Interpersonal Communications is taught by Dr. Jessica Rick. This is her second QM-Certified course. Her first — Introduction to Public Speaking — was certified in May of 2019. 

“Part of the reason we seek QM Certification is because our faculty spend a significant amount of time designing and developing their courses — that effort deserves recognition,” shared Dr. Belle Cowden, Executive Director of Online Learning. “But just as importantly, we do it for our students. We want to provide them with an online experience that promotes academic success and career achievement. The QM process helps ensure that we’re doing just that.”

The achievement of 10,000 QM-Certified courses highlights the collective investment in quality from our 1,200 members, representing six continents and 17 countries. This includes Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland, who has been certifying courses for almost two decades, as well as Ashford University, Florida International University and Calhoun Community College — the top three higher ed certification holders. The K-12 community is also well-represented. Pearson Online & Blended Learning tops the list of certified courses for K-12 publishers, while Michigan Virtual is the leader in K-12 secondary reviews.  

At the heart of our community’s efforts are the 3,200 QM-Certified Reviewers and 700 Master Reviewers whose unparalleled dedication to course quality results in hundreds of improved courses each year.  

“When I started 12 years ago, we only had 225 certified courses. It’s amazing to see how the commitment to quality has grown,” said Melissa Poole, QM’s Director of Quality Assurance. “It’s important to recognize, though, that this milestone would not be possible without the support, passion and knowledge of the QM reviewer community — Higher Ed. Peer Reviewers, K-12 Reviewers, Master Reviewers — and our members, including subscribers that manage their own reviews.”

Countless other education professionals are involved in the continuous improvement process that, more often than not, begins with QM membership. From serving as course representatives to getting the ball rolling with course improvements, instructional designers, faculty and administrators all play a part. Every official course review represents the culmination of continuous improvement and a commitment to delivering on the promise of online learning.

“Our members embrace the whole process, which makes a real difference for their students,” shared Dr. Deb Adair, QM’s Executive Director. “That’s especially true now as the entire education community pivots to the online modality. Nobody was more prepared than our members who utilize the foundation QM provides every day — allowing them to quickly transition face-to-face courses to remote delivery and move them along the path to well-planned, high-quality online courses.”

As the recipient of the 10,000th course certification, USI will receive a free course review to further their quality assurance efforts. 


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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