Even before the increased emphasis on online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, several of Walsh’s courses had earned national recognition for quality. Walshs commitment to providing students with an exceptional online learning experience was 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 all three received certifications before the end of February,” 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 Associate Professor of Sociology Laci Fiala, PH.D., Professor of History Kelly D. Mezurek, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychology Dr. Nina Rytwinski and Senior Instructional Designer/Walsh University QM Coordinator Mary Beth Messner. 

SOC 101 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.  

“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.” 

HIST 103 Dr. Mezurek designed the History of the United States to 1877 course with embedded mini-lessons called “Transferable Skills Used by Historians” within each of the course’s eight weekly lessons, where reading, writing or analytical and interpretive skills are taught. “These mini-lessons help students to not only master U.S. History, but they also introduce skills that can apply both academically and professionally,” said Dr. Mezurek.  

PSYC 401 online course was Walsh’s first course certified by Quality Matters.  

"As a clinical psychologist, abnormal psychology is one of my favorite classes to teach. So, I was delighted to have the opportunity to develop it in an online format,” said Dr. Rytwinski. “It’s very exciting to see Walsh University becoming a leader in online education.” 

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.