Recognizing Benson & Riggs

by Catherine Hillman on April 23, 2014

Building a CathedralIn Fall of 2013, two brave faculty saw an open door and boldly stepped through, ushering in Cal Poly’s first attempt to participate along with most other CSUs on the eLearning stage for recognition in quality course design.

Bridget Benson (CENG-Electrical Engineering) and Billy Riggs (CAED-City & Regional Planning) offered their hybrid courses up for review against the solid and time-tested standards of the QOLT (Quality Online Learning & Teaching) Rubric, and an internal team of Cal Poly reviewers offered objective and detailed feedback for their continued course development and improvement. Both courses showed a strong adherence to the standards, and a thoughtful approach to engaging students through a student-centered eLearning environment. 

Submitting a course to the QOLT takes courage. The QOLT Rubric draws from a venerable list of predecessors such as the Chico Rubric for Online Instruction, the Quality Matters program, and other nationally recognized standards and practices. The rubric is comprehensive, with 9 sections and 54 objectives for designing exemplary eLearning (hybrid and online) courses, and it incorporates programmatic support for eLearning, Learning Management System and Authentication standards, and Universal Design and Accessibility considerations as well.  

The CTLT congratulates Bridget and Billy on their phenomenal work as well as their willingness to receive such thorough feedback on their course design. While we continue to applaud their success, we are also looking to the future: our Instructional Designers will likely become certified in the Quality Matters peer review process this year so we can better support and encourage faculty in the years to come with their eLearning course design and delivery. The CTLT recently submitted a proposal to the Quality Assurance for CSU Online Learning program with the hope of obtaining funding for training resources, certification, stipend incentives and other resources to further support eLearning at Cal Poly.

The QOLT is in its fourth year of recognizing quality courses, and this is the first time Cal Poly has participated in the feedback and recognition process. While Cal Poly still has a long way to go in our volume of eLearning offerings, it is apropos that we are leading with solid course design, intentional pedagogy, strong student satisfaction, and a collaborative, Learn By Doing approach. 

There will be a CSU webinar presentation of the final three CSU-level awardees from the 2013-2014 Quality Online Learning & Teaching (QOLT) Recognition Program on May 9 from 12:00-1:00 PM at this link: This presentation will be delivered by Blackboard Collaborate, and you will need computer speakers or a headphone set to hear the presentation.

The CTLT will present workshops this year to help potential candidates prepare for the upcoming QOLT recognition cycle. To learn more about the QOLT, or to join Cal Poly’s online QOLT community with resources, event timelines, and peer support, please contact Catherine Hillman. 

“Salisbury Cathedral construction model” by John W. Schulze

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