2019/2020 Improving the Student Learning Experience: Canvas and Quality Matters

Proposal Summary: The thrust of the 2019/2020 academic year has been to evaluate the Canvas LMS and its efficacy in improving course design and ultimately the student learning experience. A parallel component has been to investigate the Quality Matters (QM) instrument and to develop a plan to transition to QM as the preferred SDSU Quality Assurance metric.

Campus Goals

  • ITS continues to partner closely with faculty to assess and build quality assurance mechanisms into faculty development and instructional resources within all courses. 
  • Our new provost, keen on implementing Quality Matters, spurred the creation of a QA Resource Team to compare QM with QLT in order to make an informed recommendation to the President’s Budget Advisory Committee for funding. 
  • COVID changed campus goals regarding online education, resulting in the immediate need to put all courses online for Fall 2020. This has created an unprecedented opportunity to dramatically expand faculty development with a focus on promoting high quality course design.
  • San Diego State University is committed to improving graduation rates for all students in alignment with the CSU Graduation Initiative 2025 (GI 2025) by increasing retention, reducing barriers to graduation, incorporating technology into the learning environment, and focusing on student achievement and the fulfillment of student learning outcomes.

Quality Assurance Faculty and Research Leads

  • Suzanne Aurilio, QA Lead, Instructional Technology Services

  • Maureen A. Guarcello, Research, Analytics, and Communications Specialist

  • Mark Laumakis, ITS Faculty Fellow, Instructor, College of Sciences

  • Andrea Saltzman Martin, Instructor, College of Education, Instructional Designer

Supporting Campus Partners

  • James Frazee, Chief Academic Technology Officer Associate Vice President, Instructional Technology Services

  • QA Resource Team Faculty

    • Katie Hughes, ITS Faculty Fellow, Arts and Letters

    • Beth Pollard, ITS Faculty Fellow, Arts and Letters

    • Stuart Voytilla, ITS Faculty Fellow, Professional Studies and Fine Arts

  • Center for Teaching and Learning

  • World Campus

Quality Assurance Objectives

  • Explore the Canvas LMS
    • Support faculty in improving their course design while exploring the Canvas LMS environment

    • Develop ideal course templates or “archetypes” for the larger SDSU faculty community to look toward as exemplars for a potential future LMS migration or continued ideal course builds

  • Examine student and faculty experiences of Canvas LMS in order to make a recommendation to the campus community

  • Investigate the Quality Matters instrument 
    • Participate in QM training 

    • Conduct a cost analysis

    • Draft a proposal to the President’s Budget Advisory Board for funding