Last week, I thought much about how to continuously improve quality of online courses. I tried to apply the concepts I learned in the Project quality Management workshop I took this term. The objective is to understand how to keep an online course up-to-date.
This generally involves tasks such as:
• Help develop/modify a time plan for courses to help achieve course objectives.
• Provide instructors with more educational resources (web resources, images, questions/answers) that help achieve the learning outcome.
• Develop and maintain learning resources, including user manuals/guides, online tutorials, and other resources for instructors, students and staff
- Troubleshoot/ track issues and develop instructional materials to address problems
• Ensure conformity to laws, best practices and standards including copyright laws
- Reconfigure formatting as necessary and flag dead links, broken elements and out-of-date material and discuss this with the instructor, ID and GM.
The below video was so helpful for me to understand the concept and be able to connect the dots.
The above tasks are generally part of course delivery and redelivery checklists developed by departments over the years for quality assurance purposes. In my case, the checklists were created by the instructional design team who have experiences with hundreds of courses being offered every year for many years. These checklists gather experiences, best practices and lessons learned over the years.
Next comes implementing revisions/additions to a course to ensure the course continues to meet the standards as set out by the department. Editorial examples of things I look for in my check include:
- Links are descriptive and labels are consistent with the destination headings and content.
- Course materials are free of typos and grammatical errors.
- Online readings and resources are properly linked.
- Links to external readings and online resources open in new windows.
- Fonts (style, colour, and size): content fonts are consistent throughout the course; headings are consistent, and heading fonts identify the level of heading appropriately and include no underlining.
The continuous improvement process is very important to any project including design and develops online courses. It is everyone’s responsibility; instructional design team, instructors, department, students, and institution.