Design Courses Intentionally Using QM K-12 Standards as a Foundation

Bridge to Quality: A QM Online Course Design Guide

Basic Edition

Last updated November, 2020 to include culturally responsive language

Start with Purpose. Finish with Learner Success.

Watch Christine Voelker's introduction to the Bridge Guide.

The QM Course Design Guide provides a phased approach to help you engage with course design as a thoughtful, student-focused process. You can use the web-based guide to complete the hands-on, iterative work that is central to creating a quality course. This includes: 

  1. Alignment of foundational course elements.
  2. Promoting engaged, active learning.
  3. Creative work and organization to develop the course within a digital learning environment (LMS).

For blended/hybrid learning situations, the guide helps you structure the course to ensure that face-to-face and online components complement one another and ensures that online course components are designed with quality in mind. Unless noted otherwise in the guide, all steps and guidance outlined can be applied to designing your online course or the online components of your blended/hybrid course.

Work Backwards. Put Design First.

The Bridge to Quality Guide is for faculty and curriculum specialists. If you are mapping out an online course and want to achieve the highest level of quality possible given the time, resources and support available, this guide is for you. The process you’ll use is iterative and focused on continuous improvement. This means you’ll work on planning and mapping at a high level — aligning design elements before creating specific course materials, assessments, etc. You’ll create the best course you can. When teaching the course, you’ll take notes and reflect on the course design. The notes can be used for both small and large revisions.

If you’re familiar with QM K-12 Course Design Standards, you’ll notice references to them in the guide. The guide will help you see how the work you put toward thoughtful design can lead to meeting QM Standards — a sign of course quality.

QM Community = You + Students

The Bridge to Quality Design Guide is community-inspired. Following the unprecedented shift to remote instruction due to the COVID-19 crisis, educators world-wide looked to QM and used the Emergency Remote Instruction Checklists (ERIC) we provided. While checklists serve important short-term needs, our community knows that more work must be done to meet the needs of students — in all their diversity — as we face an uncertain future.

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