Quality Matters Continues to Put Quality First with New, Updated Rubric For K-12 Educators

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Annapolis, Maryland (PRUnderground) September 10th, 2019

On September 9, Quality Matters launched its newest edition of the K–12 Rubric. The printed workbook contains two Rubrics with full annotations — those for K–12 and those for K–12 Publisher. The updates made in the QM K-12 Rubric, Fifth Edition, reflect current research and best practices in online learning for K–12 course design — as well as the role technology plays and the needs of the QM community.

“Given the rise of technology in the classroom, all learning is becoming digitally enhanced,” says Dr. Deb Adair, QM’s  Executive Director. “As online learning in K–12 continues its exponential growth, using rigorous, research-supported standards to ensure quality has become increasingly important. QM is here to support educators in taking that first step to evaluate their courses and ultimately improve online learning experiences for students.”

The revised QM K–12 Rubric has more examples included in the annotations and additional instructions for reviewers about determining if a Specific Review Standard has been met. Another new feature is the addition of notes related to reviewing elementary level (K-5) courses. These changes lay out a clearer path for using the K–12 Rubric to design, improve, and review online courses to support student success.

A list of the Specific Review Standards is publicly available, and QM members have access to the fully annotated version as part of a suite of tools in MyQM. Updated Standards and full annotations are also in the printed workbook — for both K–12 and K–12 Publisher. The Rubric can be applied to courses developed locally for use within a school or district and to those courses developed for license or use by other organizations.

Additionally, the new QM K–12 Rubric complements the work QM is doing with the Virtual Learning Leadership Alliance (VLLA) to revise the National Standards for Quality (NSQ) Online Courses  — set for release later this month. “By closely aligning QM’S K–12 Rubric with the NSQ, we are making it easier and more seamless for educators who use these Standards to use QM tools to review and improve courses, achieve QM Certification, and visibly demonstrate their commitment to quality,” explains Christine Voelker, QM’s K–12 Program Director. “The ability to generate a report showing alignment with NSQ standards is a valuable tool, and it’s why QM Official Reviews are an important milestone on the pathway for creating quality courses,” adds Cindy Hamblin, Director of the VLLA.

Quality Matters commissioned Michigan Virtual — a QM Member and a member organization of the VLLA — to conduct the literature review and ensure that the K–12 Rubric, Fifth Edition is aligned with current best practices of the education community and relevant research. Additionally, elementary sub-committee members wrote new annotations based on what was discovered in the pilot. Candice McPherson, Rubric Committee Member and Course Design Coach for Virtual Arkansas, explains, “The QM Rubric has been a positive catalyst in our organization for improving the integrity and effectiveness of our course content. One of the most valuable guideposts of the Rubric are the annotations which give detailed examples and scenarios to enable reviewers and course designers to envision what a standard looks like in action. I see the revised Rubric having an even greater impact in organizations like mine from the extensive work the revision committee applied in clarifying and updating the annotations.”

Faculty and staff can learn more about applying the K-12 Rubric and continue to deliver on their online promise through QM professional development opportunities. A free Rubric Update is also available to QM Members interested in learning about the changes to the new Rubric.

For more information, visit Quality Matters.

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About Michigan Virtual

Michigan Virtual™ (formally known as Michigan Virtual University®) provides online courses for Michigan students, professional development for educators and is the parent organization of the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute®. As a nonprofit organization with more than 20 years of experience, Michigan Virtual is Michigan’s leading voice in online education. Visit us at michiganvirtual.org.

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Limited Course Capacity

We’re sorry to inform you that we have reached capacity for several of our Semester 1 and Trimester 1 courses. You’ll notice when attempting to enroll students in our Student Learning Portal that some courses are unavailable. While we are no longer accepting new enrollments for these courses at this time, many courses continue to remain open for enrollment.

With many students across the state 100% remote, demand for our online courses is greater than ever before. Because every course we offer is taught by a Michigan-certified teacher, this high volume of enrollments has created capacity issues for our teachers who provide each and every student with individual feedback.

While the Michigan Virtual team anticipated and planned for significant increases in student enrollments this Fall, the increased demand we’ve experienced has been unprecedented. As a result, we are taking steps to hire even more part-and full-time teachers to support larger numbers of student enrollments for Semester 2 as well as for Trimester 2 and 3. 

For schools that still need online learning options this year, please fill out the form at the bottom of our virtual pathways page to meet with someone to discuss other solutions. While some of our teacher-led courses are full, we may still have the capacity to help you in upcoming terms or can discuss timing to implement a whole-school or collaborative program in which local teachers from your school/district use our online course content to teach students. We also have free course content and resources available for you to use.

We know this is an incredibly stressful time for all, and we’re sorry if the courses you’re looking for are unavailable. We never want to turn away a student who wants to learn from us. Our top concern, however, is student success, and we have a policy to not take on additional enrollments if we cannot guarantee that all students will have a quality online learning experience. 

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate the unusually high volume of enrollments we are receiving.