Why Quality Matters®
It takes a lot of time, effort, and money to create a quality product. Education programs are no different. Ashford University understands the need to provide a quality education to students and since 2009, as a part of that need, has been committed to Quality Matters (QM) standards.
In 2009, Ashford leadership committed to submit all new courses and major course revisions to Quality Matters for external review. They also decided that all full time faculty and support staff would participate in the Applying the Quality Matters Rubric (APPQMR) workshop, a two-week training program on the use of the QM rubric within course design. This training allows everyone to understand the rubric standards and use the same language to focus on consistency and quality in the course design process.
Since Ashford committed to QM, more than 95% of courses have been certified through QM review. In addition, as new full-time faculty and staff are hired, they attend the APPQMR training.
Courses that are reviewed and meet standards receive certification for five years. In 2017, courses that were certified in 2012 were bundled and sent to Quality Matters for recertification review. More than 100 courses were reviewed in the first bundle. Another bundle of 100 courses was sent in late 2017. Fewer than 30 of the 200 courses are still in the review process, with the remaining receiving the extended 3 year certification. This process is one of continuous improvement, and additional courses will be sent to QM in 2018.
Why QM Matters
Ashford University is committed to providing high-quality, innovative learning opportunities for students. Through the QM review process, Ashford is committed to continually improving the student experience to support overall student success. By submitting courses to QM for review, it provides an opportunity for the University to identify areas within the courses that can be strengthened. Ashford’s Provost, Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs, and Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Laura Palmer Noone, states, “The Quality Matters process has been a beneficial one for Ashford. It serves as an expert, external validation of the work of our faculty in creating top notch curriculum for online delivery.”
Everything we do is for the students.
Quality Matters itself is also continually improving. The organization is forming a group to advise the Rubric Committee as they look at the prospect of reviewing and revising the current rubric.
“Everything we do is for the students. Our commitment to Quality Matters is to help ensure faculty are developing consistently aligned courses, designed to promote student learning, engagement, and success,” comments Airon States, Manager of Academic Quality. “It is a considerable investment of time and resources, and Ashford is committed to doing what is best for our students and their experience in our courses.”
Written by Jana Mathieson, Sr. Communications & Community Relations Manager for Bridgepoint Education.