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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

SU Online Course Earns Positive Review for Design

SALISBURY, MD---A course developed by Dr. Kathie Wright of Salisbury University’s Perdue School of Business has met design standards developed by the national peer-review organization, Quality Matters, which assess excellence in online courses.

This is the first SU course to be submitted and successfully reviewed by Quality Matters or any other peer-review program, said Melissa Thomas, SU’s senior instructional designer who facilitates the Soaring with Online Learning faculty development program.

“The Quality Matters peer-review process provides faculty the opportunity to receive feedback from peers who have taught online to continually improve the quality of their course(s),” Thomas said.  “This in turn provides a better online experience for students enrolled in those courses.”

The Quality Matters rubric examines eight areas:  introduction, objectives, assessments, technology-use, resources, engagement, user-support and accessibility.  Wright’s class, Information Systems Concepts for Management, received 77 out of 80 possible points.  It’s a hybrid version of the information systems survey course offered within the Perdue School.  Wright piloted the online and classroom components in spring 2006 and the new format was formally adopted across all nine course sections last fall.

One highlight is Wright’s use of online videos she created to guide students through basic topics. “Students can download the videos and review them over and over until they understand the concepts, and this leaves class time for interactive, activities-based learning,” she said.  “When online courses are done well, it forces students to reflect independently and take responsibility for their own learning.”

For Wright, teaching an online course meant the opportunity to use innovative, new technology to engage students. “I wanted to promote online education as a serious approach to delivering course material here at SU,” she said.  “Through this course, I found that certain areas are better conveyed online than in the classroom.”

Quality Matters is sponsored by MarylandOnline, Inc. and was funded in part by the U.S. Department of Education Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education.  For more information, visit www.qualitymatters.org.  For details about SU’s online courses, call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu.



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