Third Online Course Earns National Quality Matters Certification

For the third time this year, Walsh University’s commitment to providing students with an exceptional online learning experience has been recognized by Quality Matters (QM), the international leader for quality assurance in online and innovative digital teaching and learning environments. Walsh’s online courses in Sociology 101, History 103 and Psychology 401 have all been certified by Quality Matters.

“We submitted three courses for subscriber-managed reviews in January, and this is the third to be certified,” said Walsh University QM Coordinator Mary Beth Messner. “We are thrilled to see Walsh making such progress with ensuring quality in our online courses. This course is a wonderful example of how instructors can design courses according to the Quality Matters rubric while still allowing instructors to exercise academic freedom.” 

The certification is the result of Walsh University’s dedication to continuous improvement, including the innovative work of Walsh Associate Professor of Sociology Laci Fiala, PH.D., and Senior Instructional Designer/Walsh University QM Coordinator Mary Beth Messner.

“I have been teaching SOC 101 for over 15 years now,” said Dr. Fiala. “There are many ways this course can be taught and delivered. I enjoyed creating it in a way that allows some flexibility for instructors.”

The Sociology course is designed so that it includes specific assignments, with alternate assignments in an Instructor’s Resources folder in each lesson.  This allows instructors of SOC 101 to swap activities and assignments to suit the needs of their class, resulting in a strong course that is flexible for other instructors.

An external team of three reviewers reviewed the course and found that it met all essential standards to be recognized as meeting a national benchmark for quality course design.  Reviews are conducted by QM-Certified Reviewers, use the Quality Matters Rubric, and associated Standards, which are based on research and best practices. A course earns the QM Certification Mark once it meets QM Rubric Standards at the 85% threshold or better and meets all Essential Standards.

The course is now listed on the QM directory of certified courses.The Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric reviews course elements in eight areas: Course Overview and Introduction, Learning Objectives (Competencies), Assessment and Measurement, Instructional Materials, Learning Activities and Learner Interaction, Course Technology, Learner Support, and Accessibility and Usability.

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.