Quality Assurance for blended and online courses

2018/19 Humboldt State University -- Reimagining the Learning Experience 

Proposal Summary: At Humboldt State University, we proposed to focus on three goal areas: ongoing communication and outreach, professional development, and facilitation of faculty submissions to the CSU Quality Assurance Resource Repository. We were able to complete the goals in these areas through a combination of faculty leadership, blended professional development, artifacts for QuARRY, and participation in the SQuAIR. This year we offered two blended opportunities: a Faculty Learning Community (FLC) and a Course Design Institute (CDI). The FLC focused on transforming teaching and students’ learning through the creation of a culture of experimentation. The CDI focused on re-imagining one's teaching and students’ learning through measurable actions. We will continue to collect data in several fall 2019 courses as part of our 18/19 SQuAIR participation.

Campus QA Goals

Campus Goal for Quality Assurance

With institutional vision and a data-informed approach, we partnered with faculty as catalysts for change and innovation through a reimagining transformation of their courses. The main focus was to build communities around course (re) design through a blended approach, thereby providing an "online/blended student experience" for online/blended educators. Given the Graduation Initiative 2025, the overarching goals were to support student success through increased retention, closing of opportunity gaps, and reducing the time to degree. With this in mind, HSU QA efforts were woven into various programming efforts in the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) as an intentional practice to shift the culture of quality teaching and learning across all learning formats. 

  • (Re)design that targets online/blended courses that identify as bottleneck, gateway, and opportunity gaps
  • Build further QA educator leadership capacity through a our Professional Learning Communities Program
  • Creating a QLT campus culture

Humboldt State University Center for Teaching and Learning logo

Quality Assurance Lead(s)

  • Kauyumari Sanchez, QA Faculty Lead
  • Kim Vincent-Layton, QA Coordinator
  • Julie Alderson, SQuAIR Faculty Lead

Supporting Campus Partners

  • Center for Teaching and Learning Instructional Design Team, Canvas Team
  • Office of Institutional Effectiveness
  • College Deans

Campus Commitment Toward Sustainability of QA Efforts

  • Creating a QLT Culture Through CTL Progamming, Consultations, and Resources
  • Creating Policy and Processes to Further Efforts (see below)
  • Participation in CSU Professional Learning Communities, QA, SQuAIR
  • Educator Submissions to QuARRY

Summary of Previous QA  Accomplishments

HSU has made a number of significant strides to create a QLT campus culture, including, but not limited to:

  • Campus eLearning Policy with QA Component
  • Campus Peer Review Program
  • Eight QLT-designed Canvas Course Templates
  • HSU QLT-designed Accessible Syllabus Template
  • Ongoing Campus QLT Learning Opportunities
  • QLT Course Design Process (see graphic below)
  • HSU QLT Version with Examples of Inclusive Teaching Practices

HSU Quality Learning and Teaching Course Design Flowchart. See Text-based version at:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/149vFdf-DIAXyhpHH-RG2k6Of9dyrvJz81-NuJ8XBo_k/edit?usp=sharing

Dissemination of QA Efforts

Vincent-Layton, K. (2018). Strategies for Effective Project Management in Online Course Development. Directors of Academic Technology and Community of Higher Education Annual Conference.

Vincent-Layton, K., & Dougherty, P. (2017). Creating a QLT Campus Culture. HSU University Senate.

Vincent-Layton, K. (2017). Conducting Peer Reviews Using the QOLT Instrument. CSU Long Beach QOLT Conference.

Vincent-Layton, K. (2016). Conducting Course Reviews Using the QOLT Instrument. CSU Northridge QOLT Conference.

Humboldt State University Logo

Quality Assurance Results

Training Completions

HSU designed, developed, and facilitated two learning opportunities for educators to engage in "Reimagining the Learning Experience". In each of these experiences, educators engaged in the re-thinking of their teaching, content, and pedagogy to enhance/improve students' learning. 

A map of their (re)design journey, began with looking at their course design goals and results from their Teaching Goals Inventory. They explored what we know about HSU students, trends in course success data, and considerations around three logics (student, instructor, content). From there, they focused on how content, pedagogical, and technological choices inform/influence these factors. This formed the basis of their 'Action Plan'.

Goals. Two bubbles that read: Stated Course Design Institute Goal, Teaching Goals Inventory goals (1-2 goals). Factors. Three bubbles that read: Our students,  Course Data, Student, Instructor, Content Logic. Actions. One bubble that reads: Content, Pedagogy, Technology . Equals Your Action Plan.

Given the depth of (re)design, educators then partnered with CTL staff to continue their (re)design journey.

Faculty Learning Community (FLC) on Reimagining the Learning Experience Supporting educators in transforming their teaching and their students’ learning through a community providing an “online student experience”. Course Design Institute (CDI) on Reimagining the Learning Experience Provide educators with cutting-edge knowledge and skills in developing engaging, effective, and equitable courses.

"By collaborating and problem-solving with peers, we
often find ways to strengthen our own courses."

"There was so many good ideas to pull from and help frame
not only the scope of the plan but also how to navigate
and implement such design strategies." 

Student Quality Assurance Impact Research 

This year, HSU participated in the SQuAIR Program through a partnership with our Center for Teaching and Learning and Office of Institutional Effectiveness. A total of six courses participated (three Spring 2019 and three Fall 2019). 

HSU SQuAIR Participation

Spring 2019 Total Responses


Average Percent Strongly Agree/Agree Across All Objectives


Development of Campus QA Resources

Research spelled with wooden tiles

Research by Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 Alpha Stock Images

Accessibility/UDL Efforts

HSU has a deep commitment to meeting the needs of all our students. Through broad programming and intentional efforts, the CTL has made inclusive design a cornerstone of our work.

  • Universal Design and Ally Campus Sessions (partnership with CTL, Student Disability Resources Center, Accessible Resources Center)
  • Ally in All Summer 2019 Courses
  • Applying Universal/Inclusive Design Through CTL Programming and Consultations
  • Continuous Programming Partnerships Focused on Inclusive Design

Next Steps for QA Efforts at HSU

As HSU continues to fold QA efforts into programming and services, our next steps include:

  • Increase Participation in CSU QA Training
  • Analyze Campus QA Training Participation Data as Related to Course Success Data
  • Continue Inclusive Design Partnership Programming