Applying the Quality Matters Rubric (APPQMR) Workshop
By: Sasha White and Iwona Gniadek, Instructional Designers for the Manitoba Flexible Learning HUB
The Manitoba Flexible Learning HUB facilitated the Applying the Quality Matters Rubric (APPQMR) workshop online from October 27 to November 10, 2020. This workshop was offered to participants from the HUB’s seven post-secondary institution partners as members of Quality Matters (QM) – a trusted global leader in quality assurance for online learning, with its goal to provide a system for continual review, improvement, and certification of online courses.
APPQMR is the flagship workshop of QM, providing participants the opportunity to learn the underlying principles behind the QM Rubric and the critical elements of the QM quality assurance process. The participating pilot group – consisting of learning technologists, faculty coaches, instructional designers, and QM coordinators – was introduced to the concept of alignment in online courses, as well as drafting helpful recommendations for overall course improvement.
The APPQMR workshop followed a specific schedule as per QM guidelines. This schedule saw ten assignments distributed across two weeks, with firm due dates to submit Modules 1-5 by Day 7 of the workshop, and to complete all course work by Day 15. At the end of the workshop, participants retained access to the materials for an additional seven days. Upon completion of the evaluation survey, participants were able to print their certificates of completion directly from the QM website.
One of the biggest strengths of the APPQMR workshop is the ability to complete each assignment twice. Participants received feedback on the first completion and completed the second attempt, if needed. On one hand, this can be a great assessment practice; on the other, it created a repetitive and intense workload during the workshop, as participants completed subsequent assignments and returned to the ones that needed revisions. Such intensity created a challenge to manage daily professional commitments and stay on track with the workshop expectations.
Participants shared some useful feedback on the ways the workshop can be improved, including the addition of a synchronous session, and an extension to the workshop duration to allow more time to complete the assignments.
We would like to thank all participants for their time and contribution to the group learning during the workshop. We also want to congratulate three participants who completed the workshop successfully:
- Lorrie Weldon, University College of the North
- Larry McCallum, University College of the North
- Valerie McInnes, Assiniboine Community College
From an instructor’s point of view, we found it exciting to see everyone collaborating and eagerly sharing their knowledge amongst their peers – a true testament to the breadth of wisdom and expertise that the participants brought to this workshop!
We hope that all participants found value in the APPQMR workshop and will be able to implement what they have learned in their daily professional practice.