Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Southeast Receives Making a Difference for Students Award

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Southeast has been recognized by Quality Matters with the 2018 Making a Difference for Students award.

Quality Matters is a non-profit organization working to promote and improve online education through a rubric that measures course design quality using eight general standards.

“At Southeast any course that is offered online has to be QM reviewed, and that means one of our faculty and our center for Scholarship for Teaching and Learning have to measure the course against the rubric,” Southeast Online director Chelsea McNeely said.

Southeast Online was launched in 2003, but the university began using Quality Matters in 2014.

The instructional designer specialist in the center for Scholarship In Teaching and Learning, Kris Baranovic, was the one who wrote the report and discovered the data that led to Southeast receiving the award.

“By receiving this award, this is a recognition to all the faculty that put in a ton of time in reviewing and preparing their courses for peer review and going through the training, like it was all worth it,” Baranovic said.

This semester, Southeast Online offered 30 degree programs with about 1,170 students enrolled, a slight increase of about 50 students when compared to past years.

“Southeast Online is to provide access to a quality distance education experience while supporting the university’s growth and success,” McNeely said. “[We] make sure the expectations are clear, all support materials are there and that everything in the course has a purpose.”

Baranovic believes eventually there will be no need for Quality Matters because everyone will have an understanding of what online teaching should be. He said it has provided the framework instructors can use to make a course more understanding for the students.

“QM implementation has forever changed the online teaching community at Southeast; we have always had a strong online community of teachers,” Baranovic said. “Online is not treated as this big scary thing, it is just treated as teaching.”

The award will be presented at Quality Matters’ 10th Annual Conference, Oct. 30 through Nov. 2 in St. Louis.