Ohio Appalachian Collaborative Blog

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In Honor of Digital Learning Day—A Blog Post Brought to You by the Letters "Q" and "M"

by User Not Found | Feb 05, 2014
By Linda Knicely, Battelle for Kids

In honor of Digital Learning Day today (February 5th), it seemed apropos to share information about an exciting new OAC professional development series that has been launched this year to support online and blended curriculum development in the region for both K-12 as well as higher education audiences.

Beginning in December 2013 and continuing through February and April 2014, approximately 30 staff members from our OAC districts and higher education partner institutions make up, collectively, a cohort that is participating in what we hope to be the first of an annual training series entitled: Blending Better: Effectively Teaching and Learning through Blended and Online Delivery Systems

Utilizing a system-wide subscription with Quality Matters (QM), a national leader in online course design, and also incorporating local expertise in the use of technology tools, the goals of the series are:

  • To provide expert direction in understanding the concepts around, and developing, highly effective blended and online coursework (both in terms of content and delivery) according to industry standards.
  • To ensure rigor and relevance for the diverse audience (K-12 teachers and higher education faculty) by providing resources to flexibly “cross-walk” the higher education and K-12 secondary course design standards throughout the series. 
  • To demonstrate practical and useful technology tools that can be utilized by the participants to improve their efficacy as online or blended learning instructors. 
  • To facilitate communication among participants in order to increase awareness and appreciation of the others’ perspectives toward the work. 
  • To position participant completers to be able to informally share information and resources within their home districts and institutions, particularly in regard to establishing an online account available through the Quality Matters subscription.
  • To identify practitioners with an aptitude for, and interest in, gaining additional qualifications as a peer reviewer or regional facilitator within the consortium in future years.
The targeted participants included: higher education faculty teaching dual enrollment credentialing coursework; K-12 faculty teaching dual enrollment coursework; and K-12 faculty teaching non-dual enrollment coursework. This cohort already completed the APPQMR (Applying the Quality Matters Rubric) training in December and (Mother Nature willing) will continue their learning with QM’s “Designing Your Blended Course,” followed by hands-on technology tools training and partnership building activities on February 10 and 11. 

Battelle for Kids’ commitment to overcoming geographic hurdles while increasing dual enrollment opportunities in the Appalachian region is at the heart of this initiative and we look forward to growing local expertise around this topic as we hope to expand with a new cohort of participants during the 2014-15 school year. For additional information about this program or how you can get involved, please contact Pamela Noeth or Linda Knicely at Battelle for Kids. 

To learn more about Quality Matters, visit their website or follow them on Twitter @QMProgram.