Quality Assurance

Our multifaceted approach to assuring quality in our distance education offerings is observed through the following standards of practice:

  • Maintenance of well-defined production procedures
  • Use of rubrics and checklists
  • Analysis of faculty and student feedback and evaluations
  • Ongoing support of our instructors

Quality Standards

  • Instructional Design: Distance learning program development specialists (DLPDS) work one-on-one with faculty through a systematic instructional design process, called the ADDIE (Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, Evaluation) Model. Quality standards and best practices for course design and delivery are implemented through this collaboration.
  • Content: Academic departments ensure that content and learning outcomes are consistent with those used in on-campus offerings, while guaranteeing the support of departmental and disciplinary standards.
  • Ongoing Course Maintenance: Courses are reviewed each offering by content experts—as well as technical, instructional design, and copyright staff—to ensure functionality and currency of instructions and permissions.
  • Technology Selection and Upgrades: Our team works with faculty to carefully select appropriate technologies that support course outcomes. Upgrades to our learning management system (LMS) occur regularly to ensure that the latest tools are available to faculty and students.
  • Quality Matters Rubric: The University of Guelph is a subscriber of Quality Matters, a leader in quality assurance for online education. Based on scholarly research, the QM Higher Education Rubric for course design helps us to evaluate the design of our online courses and to ensure that our courses align with industry standards.
  • Style Guide and Technical Checklists: Our courses follow a clear set of technical, instructional and graphic design standards. These standards ensure that all Distance Education team members work towards the same outcomes and that our students experience a supportive learning environment.
  • Feedback and Evaluation: In addition to course evaluations, every semester a learner survey is circulated in each course. This survey provides us with vital information about the design of courses and the quality of our student support services. Regular debrief meetings with faculty also help us to gather important insight on courses.
  • Capacity Building: Equipping instructors with the core skills for teaching online is essential. Each semester, we offer training for online facilitation as well as instruction on using the LMS. This training is open to faculty, sessional instructors and teaching assistants. Faculty members can also schedule one-on-one sessions by request.