College Makes Progress on Quality Matters Certification for Online MBA Courses
Students enrolled in Kent State University’s Online MBA program can be confident that courses have been developed with high quality instruction in mind.
As of July, the Kent State Online MBA program stands just a few courses away from having 100% of courses Quality Matters (QM) certified, meaning they meet rigorous standards of quality.
“Quality Matters reviews provide helpful insights for continuous course improvement to ensure course quality,” said Amy Grincewicz, Ph.D., senior instructional designer and Quality Matters Coordinator for the College of Business Administration.
Quality Matters™ (QM) is an international, faculty-centric, nonprofit organization focused on improving design and certifying the quality of online and hybrid courses. For an online or hybrid course to be a Quality Matters Certified Course, it must meet the QM standards and be shown to positively impact the online learning experience.
The Quality Matters Certification process includes both a peer review and a rubric review of the online course. The Official Review Team is comprised of QM-Certified Reviewers, with one Master Reviewer serving as team chair.
In order for a course to meet QM standards, College of Business Administration distance learning staff members (including an instructional designer and educational technologist) assist faculty with creating a learning path for each course module. This learning path provides an explicit explanation for why and how materials are used to showcase the completion of learning outcomes.
“A QM certified course illustrates that the course is student-friendly,” Grincewicz said. “Certification means that a course is consistent, logical and easy to navigate. In addition, QM courses ensure that all learning activities focus on the learning outcomes.”
Grincewicz has acquired QM certifications including course review manager, master and peer reviewer, program reviewer, continuing and professional education reviewer and face-to-face facilitator for Applying the Quality Matters Rubric (APPQMR) and Improving Your Online Course (IYOC) workshops. In addition, she serves on the Executive Board for the QM Ohio Consortium as a co-course review manager. Tim Kohn, the College’s educational technologist, has completed the APPQMR and IYOC workshops as well as the Peer Reviewer Course.
“The College of Business Administration and our students are fortunate to have dedicated instructional designers who help ensure that our courses meet students’ needs and provide successful learning outcomes,” said Cathy L.Z. DuBois, Associate Dean for Graduate and Online Programs at the College. “With our online programs growing in popularity, there is no better time to invest in the development of QM certified courses that truly set our programs apart in a competitive marketplace.”
All Online MBA courses are expected to be QM Certified by September. Instructional designers will then focus on certifying all online Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) and undergraduate general business courses.