SDSU: Juggling QA Efforts During a Global Pandemic
SDSU: Juggling QA Efforts During a Global Pandemic
Proposal Summary: Like everyone else on the planet, San Diego State University (SDSU) faced unprecedented challenges during the COVID-19 global pandemic. As an institution, we set out to adopt a University-standard approach to quality assurance (QA) during the 2020/2021 academic year. Like many things during this challenging time, things progressed in unforeseen, unpredictable ways. SDSU ultimately pivoted away from a plan to adopt Quality Matters (QM) as its standard and instead chose to move forward with the CSU’s Quality Learning and Teaching (QLT) rubric. As an institution, we were able to provide scalable new pathways for faculty training in the design and development of online courses via the highly successful Flexible Course Design Institute (Flex CDI), which enrolled more than 1,000 SDSU instructors in four separate offerings during the 2020/2021 academic year.
Campus Goal for Quality Assurance
Adopt a University-standard to enhance quality assurance of online courses using the nationally-recognized Quality Matters (QM) framework and evaluation instrument
Provide new pathways for faculty training and staff professional development related to the design and development of online courses and programs
Support campus growth and student success initiatives including GI2025 and SDSU World Campus by increasing student access to high-demand and gateway courses.
Quality Assurance Leads
Mark A. Laumakis, Ph.D., Instructional Technology Services (ITS) Faculty in Residence and Lecturer, Department of Psychology
Maureen A. Guarcello, Research, Analytics, and Communications Specialist
Andrea Saltzman Martin, Instructor, College of Education, Instructional Designer
Supporting Campus Partners
James Frazee, Chief Academic Technology Officer, Associate Vice President, Information Technology Division
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 (CTL)
SDSU World Campus
Campus Commitments toward Sustainability of QA Efforts
With adequate funding, the ways we intend to sustain and grow our QA efforts include:
creating a cadre of peer-reviewers to conduct informal reviews
coordinating QA implementation plans at the college and departmental levels
developing targeted course templates (e.g., for large lecture courses)
co-hosting Center for Teaching and Learning Lunches on Learning on QA topics
providing a context for show-and-tell QLT-driven course improvements.
The QA Resource Team includes:
Mark Laumakis, Faculty in Residence ITS and QA Faculty Lead
Beth Pollard, History
Stuart Voytilla, TFM
Katie Hughes, RWS
Andrea Saltzman, ID, Instructor
Linda Woods, ID, ITS
Phil Denman, ID, ITS
Jon Rizzo, ID, ITS
Michelle Peterson, Faculty Support Specialist, ITS
Leo Lopez, Faculty Support Specialist, ITS
- Team members joining in AY 2020/2021:
Ken Arnold, Engineering
Harsimran Baweja, Motor Neuroscience
Melissa Soto, Education
John Alexander, ID, World Campus
Terri Linman, ID World Campus
Sarah Freiler, ID, World Campus
Summary of Previous QA Accomplishments
Exploring the Canvas LMS:
With the decision to transition to Canvas in May 2020, faculty began opting in to using the LMS and an initial course template was provided which includes
accessible syllabus template
course accessibility report
course planning grid
quality assurance course design checklist
Evaluation of Canvas LMS Campus pilot:
Overall, faculty and students preferred Canvas, giving it a Learning Management System “grade”
Faculty assigned Canvas a 3.4 GPA or B and Blackboard a 2.0 or C-. Students (report cards on the right) assigned Canvas a 3.5 GPA or B+, and Blackboard a 2.9 or C+
The table below shows QA training completions at SDSU for the past three academic years, demonstrating the significant uptick in such completions during the 2020/2021 academic year.
SDSU also facilitated 157 QLT training completions during the period from 2012-2020.
Course Peer Review and Course Certifications
As noted above, SDSU pivoted from a plan to employ QM as the campus QA standard to the use of QLT as this standard during the course of the 2020/2021 academic year. As such, no formal course peer reviews or course certifications have been completed at this time. Instead, campus efforts during the 2020/2021 academic year focused on providing all-hands-on-deck emergency training to more than 1,000 SDSU instructors via 4 separate offerings of the SDSU Flex CDI training program. Going forward, we plan to develop a robust peer review and course certification program.
Development of Campus QA Resources
SDSU Flexible Course Design Toolkit (developed via the Flex CDI training program): https://sdsu.instructure.com/courses/58304
Summary of Flex CDI training program: https://its.sdsu.edu/covid-19/flex/
SDSU has adopted Ally as part of the campus LMS migration to Canvas.
Faculty training in Flex CDI included a required module entitled “Universal Design for Learning and Accessibility” designed by SDSU’s Instructional Materials Design Specialist, Jon Rizzo
Dissemination of QA Efforts - Conferences
None, due to COVID-19 global pandemic
Next Steps for QA Efforts
As noted above, going forward, we plan to develop a robust peer review and course certification program.
We also plan to host showcase events for SDSU faculty regarding exemplary online courses that meet the requirements of QLT.
Finally, we plan to incorporate the newly revised QLT instrument more fully into our long-running Course Design Institute, which runs each Spring semester.