Attention all faculty: there’s a wonderfully effective training opportunity coming up in the next few weeks: the Quality Matters Improving Your Online Course workshop. The catch is, participation is limited to a select group of people.

In order to register for the workshop, you must have an existing online course that you want to improve. This workshop is heavy on application and specifics. You’ll be learning to apply 21 of the most essential course design standards in the Quality Matters Rubric, to a very specific course: yours.

If you haven’t heard of Quality Matters (QM), it’s a non-profit organization focusing on training individuals to recognize and certify course design across institutions and disciplines using a research-based list of standards. The list of standards was developed in 2006 and is now in its 5th revision. There are a variety of training programs that the QM program offers. What makes the QM Improving Your Online Course (IYOC) so pertinent to those wishing to improve their own course design, is that the IYOC program only focuses on the standards with the largest impact on course design.

Interpretation of the QM standards can be difficult to new sets of eyes. Part of the workshop training in IYOC is to help you understand specifically what each of the 21 essential standards mean.

In the short span of three weeks you will:

  1. Recognize the foundational concepts of Quality Matters.
  2. Apply the essential Standards of the Quality Matters Rubric to your own online course.
  3. Describe the alignment of at least one module/unit in your online course.
  4. Prioritize improvements to your online course.

Active learning is an important part of the QM rubric of standards and used extensively in the IYOC workshop. You will often be working on parts of your own course, but also studying with your peers in the training as you work through the examples. Seeing how other courses are designed and examining content with another instructor can be very helpful. Part of the active learning is training in the use of the Self-Review tool, available to all University of Alaska instructors. Use of the Self-Review tool is important because it focuses attention on QM specific quality points. It also lays the groundwork for future improvements to your course and the best part is, you decide how to prioritize the changes.

The IYOC workshop is hosted by a collaborative group of instructional designers from across the University of Alaska system. The details of the next two workshops are below:

Workshop Dates Registration URL
March 28, 2018 March 30 – April 20, 2018
May 30, 2018 June 1 – June 22, 2018



“The QM research really clearly indicates that it’s going to be a better designed course if I just buckle down and do these things.’ — Dani Sheppard, Associate Professor of Psychology

“I think the training is particularly valuable for a person who’s done a course, and then is trying to figure out how to make it more effective.’ — Brian O’Donoghue, Professor of Journalism


See the PDF for this Teaching Tip.

Dan LaSota

Dan LaSota, M.Ed., is an eCampus instructional designer and has taught several semesters of online classes at UAF.

Instructional Designer, UAF eCampus