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Quality Matters at UT

Quality Matters is a faculty-driven, peer review process to ensure the quality of online and blended course design. There are three primary components in Quality Matters program: the QM rubric, the peer review process, and QM professional development.

Course Review: During the 2014-2015 academic year, Learning Ventures conducted 36 informal reviews resulting in recommendations for improvement sent to the faculty course developers. Learning Ventures also worked with faculty members and submitted six courses for official reviews. They are all recognized by Quality Matters. For a complete list of QM recognized courses please visit QM Recognized Courses page.

Professional Development: In the 2014-2015 academic year, many faculty participated in QM professional development programs. Twenty-two faculty members completed the Applying Quality Matters Rubric workshops, and nine faculty members completed the Peer Reviewer Course. Some of them have become certified QM peer reviewers. As of July 13, 2015 seventeen faculty members are certified QM peer reviewers and served on course review teams. For a complete list of peer reviewers please visit our certified QM peer reviewers page.

Rubric Use: The rubric is used to ensure online course design quality. Guidelines and templates (start here, syllabus, module guidelines, schedule, and alignment plan) were developed by the Instructional Design and Development Department according to Quality Matters standards and distributed to faculty. An Online Course Design Evaluation tool was developed according to QM standards and revised based on research findings.

  • Course Development: All new online course developers receive a copy of the rubric before developing their online courses. Instructional designers, who are QM certified reviewers, provide on-going consultations in the course development process. Course developers receiving development stipends conduct a self-review and the results of the self-review are shared with Learning Ventures for course improvement purposes.
  • Course Evaluation: An online course evaluation survey was developed based on the QM essential standards. The use of this evaluation tool is required for new online courses supported with course development funds. Its use is highly recommended for all courses undergoing revisions. The results are used to improve course design.
  • Course Revision: Instructional designers incorporate QM rubrics when consulting with online instructors in course revision.
  • Program Review: Learning Ventures takes a proactive approach in reaching out to fully online programs to integrate QM review into program review. There are three types of QM reviews: official review, informal review, and self-review. Institutions can also conduct customized reviews according to their institutional goals. In official reviews, each review team consists of three certified QM peer reviewers; a team chair, a subject matter expert, and an external reviewer. The peer review team is autonomous and the decision to declare a course QM certified is based on QM standards and annotations. They also provide constructive, specific, balanced, sensitive, and measurable recommendations for course developers to adopt in the revision of their courses.

Since UT’s adoption of the QM standards, many online faculty members have participated in our QM initiatives. One of our goals is to increase the number of faculty members participating in our online faculty development programs and submitting their online courses for QM reviews. If you are interested in Quality Maters program please contact your instructional designers or one of our Quality Matters Coordinators.

  • Sue Ann Hochberg
  • Barbara Kopp Miller
  • Peter You

Instructional Designer Assignments Spring 2013

Phoebe Ballard, M.Ed.
Contact information: 419 530 4379

Office Hours:

  • Wednesday: 1:00-3:00
  • Thursday: 10:00-12:00

College of Languages, Literature and Social Science

  • AFST
  • COMM
  • DST
  • ENGL
  • GEPL
  • LST
  • MLS
  • PSC
  • WGST

College of Law

College of Visual and Performing Arts

Judith Herb College of Education, Health and Human Service

  • HEAL
  • RCRT
  • RCBS
  • LGL
  • SOCW

Honors College

Claire Stuve, M. A.
Contact information: 419 530 4383

Office Hours:

  • Tuesdays: 10:00-12:00
  • Thursdays: 1:00 – 3:00

College of Engineering

College of Mathematics and Science

College of Medicine and Life Science

College of Nursing

College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Mingli Xiao, Ph.D.
Contact information: 419 530 4390

Office Hours:

  • Monday 10:00-12:00
  • Tuesday 1:00-3:00

College of Adult and Lifelong Learning

Judith Herb College of Education, Health and Human Service

  • CI
  • SPED
  • CIEC
  • EDS
  • HIM
  • HCAR
  • COUM
  • SLP
  • SPSY
  • KINE

College of Languages, Literature and Social Science

  • ECON
  • SPAN
  • JPAN
  • CHIN
  • PHIL
  • SOC
  • HIST
  • PSY
  • MLS

Peter You, Ph.D.
Contact information: 419 530 4016

College of Business Administration and Innovation

Judith Herb College of Education, Health and Human Service

  • CRIM

Respondus License Update

Our licenses for Respondus and Studymate are purchased on a yearly basis.  Our previous license expired on July 31, 2012.  When users sign into Respondus, they will receive a message informing that their Respondus license has expired.  To continue using Respondus, users will need to update their license code.  The license code can be accessed by logging into Blackboard, and clicking on Faculty Resource Center in the course list. Once in the Faculty Resource Center, click on Software in the left course menu, and click on the folder labeled Respondus.  The new license code is contained in the document labeled Respondus 4 2012 – 2013 License Documentation.  Copy and paste the license key into the provided space on the license dialog box when you first open Respondus.

Our current license is paid through July 31, 2013. Please do not distribute this license key.

Please contact us at utlv@utoledo.edu if you need any assistance with accessing the documentation for Respondus, installing Respondus on your computer, or using Respondus to generate tests or surveys.


WebCT –> Blackboard, Urgent Message


After consulting with faculty and assessing our options last spring, Learning Ventures began the transition from WebCT to Blackboard (Bb) 9 in March of 2010. If you are still using WebCT for online or web-assisted teaching, the time to switch is now.

The GOOD news is Bb 9 has some great tools for engaging students online:

  • The Blog (web log) tool is a great way to encourage the development of an online community.
  • The Discussion Board is easier to grade and easier to track student posts and replies.
  • The Journal tool offers a private way to communicate with your students while tracking their individual reflections.
  • The Wiki tool allows a group of students to collaborate on a collective document.
  • The SafeAssign tool helps students cite their writing properly.
  • The Assignment drop box allows you to submit multiple documents at once.
  • You can drag and drop files to the course.

Bb 9 is a very different experience for the faculty and the instructional designer; therefore, you will need time and assistance to create a maximally learning-centered experience for your students. Learning Ventures offers extensive, hands-on support for faculty who use Bb 9. In addition to our regularly scheduled workshops (schedule available here: https://utdl.edu/DL_training), we invite your department or program to schedule an instructional session at your convenience.

To get more information about Bb 9, or to make an important connection with an instructional designer, contact LV:

Email: UTLV@utoledo.edu
Phone: 419.530.8835
Chat: utoledo.edu/dl, use our chat window

For more updates on the transition, follow us on Twitter (@UTLV) and check our blog (feed available on the “Teaching” pane in the UT Portal. Also: http://wordpress.utoledo.edu/learningventures).

Student Observer Program

All faculty will soon receive a notice via email about the “Student Observer Program.” This program is designed to give faculty valuable feedback about the learning environment from a trained student observer. This year, we are expanding the program in some important ways. First, we are offering at the instructors’ request video observation in which the student and faculty member will be able to discuss classroom management and presence. And second, we are involving students in the observation of online instruction (exclusively online and web-assisted), with observations reflecting different approaches to pedagogy and engagement required online. More will arrive soon, but here is the text of the description of the program that will be in your mailbox accompanied by a form for requesting observation. Finally, if you know a student who would make an ideal candidate for participation in our program, please forward the students’ name and a brief recommendation to Jeff Jablonski (jeffrey.jablonski(at)utoledo.edu), the SOP Coordinator.

How the Student Observer Program Works

  • Instructors elect to participate by filling out a request form and returning it to Christine Keller, “Learning Ventures,” MS #129, FH 3005C.
  • All faculty (tenure-track, part-time, visiting faculty, lecturers) are eligible to participate in the Student Observer Program. Observers can work with any undergraduate course regardless of the mode of delivery (face-to-face, blended, exclusively online). For part-time faculty, the request for observation must be submitted and approved by the chair of the department.
  • A student observer is assigned according to the class schedule and the observer’s availability.
  • The student observer is given the name, campus office, campus telephone number, and e-mail address of the instructor and arranges for an initial visit. The instructor is also given the name, telephone number, and e-mail address of the student observer.
  • The instructor and student observer meet to get acquainted and clarify expectations. The instructor should provide a course syllabus and any login information for online resources. The observer should be enrolled in all course-related web services.
  • The student observer visits the instructor’s class, gathers the requested information and prepares feedback for the instructor. A minimum of 3 classroom visits is recommended (or three hours of online contact). All information gathered by the student observer is confidential. No information is provided to anyone else unless the instructor specifically authorizes it. (Please note, however, that all reports are reviewed by the Student Observer Program Coordinator to ensure quality control.)
  • The student observer meets with the instructor and discusses the observation. He/she also prepares a report of typically 2-3 pages for the professor. This report may be included in a dossier, but it is not required to be shared.

UT Blackboard and “EduTech” Support Group

Blackboard got you down? Been staring at your screen for two hours hoping the solution to your problem will suddenly appear? Want to use new technologies to make life easier? Join LV’s outstanding instructional designers for an informal lunchtime gathering for discussion of Blackboard and other technologies that can help promote learning.

When: Wednesday, September 29, 12-1:20
Where: Memorial Field House, Rm. 3070

Brown-bag lunch. Beverages provided. ALL faculty are welcome. Online faculty or faculty at a distance will be invited to join via web. Instructions will be posted on this site a day before the meeting. Search “support group” on this site to find instructions.

Accessibility and Teaching Online

This article at the Chronicle today reminds us that accessibility in our online courses is an important issue. ProfHacker is thinking broadly about accessibility and universal design principles and it’s worth a look, but it is important to remember that our courses must remain accessible to all students. Blackboard 9.1 is fully compatible with technologies that ensure accessibility (screen readers, various forms of input, etc.), but your course’s accessibility depends in part on what you put on it. For instance, many faculty are opting to teach with open-source materials freely available on the web or using scanned copies of articles, staying within boundaries of “fair use.” However, unless your scanned copy is easily “read” by an OCR (Optical Character Recognition) program, what the seeing-impaired student gets will be either nonsense or nothing. If you use media files, are they accessible? Is your You-Tube video close-captioned?

If your course–whether online, face-to-face, or “hybrid”–needs to be made fully accessible, we strongly recommend that you contact the Office of Accessibility long before the beginning of a semester to make suitable arrangements. LV will work with the Office of Accessibility to ensure that exams and documents are accessible for all online or web-assisted courses in which accommodation has been requested.

Finally, please be sure to submit your book orders on time. This is not just to satisfy the bookstore’s need for an early order. The primary reason to submit your book order early is so that the Office of Accessibility can help make arrangements (digitizing textbooks, captioning, etc.) for students who need help accessing course materials.

Blackboard 9.1 Transition Update: Access!!!

In order to avoid frustration and to accommodate the transition to our new system, Learning Ventures decided to give faculty a choice between the old and the new. Therefore, if you are teaching a web-assisted or fully online course this fall, you will have access to a course site in both Blackboard CE 4.1 (aka WebCT 4.1)and Blackboard 9.1. Here’s how to move ahead if you’d like to teach with the new system:

If you are a faculty member and you would like to use Bb 9.1 for fall, please do the following:

1. Contact Lance Stoll (lansing.stoll@utoledo.edu ) and ask him to code your course as Bb 9.1 so that your students can log into your course via the myUT portal.

2. If you would like to use a WebCT backup from a previous term, contact UTLV@utoledo.edu or if you already work with an instructional designer, contact that designer directly. In your message, indicate the course number, section number, and semester of the backup you would like to use. You may also build your course from scratch.

3. Before Friday, August 20, email your students via the myUT portal and tell them that you will be using Bb 9.1 for fall (see the attached file).

4. To learn more about Bb 9.1 features and tools, attend our workshops or review our online guides. All training sessions and workshops will be “BB9.1” oriented, though we will continue to offer online resources and staff assistance in WebCT.

5. If you have any questions, contact UTLV@utoledo.edu, call LV Support (530-8835), or drop us a message through the chat window on our main page (utoledo.edu/dl). ;

Once you’ve taken the plunge into BB9.1 (and there are many advantages to doing this), UTLV will do the following:

· Post a message in the course site that you will not be using (either Bb 9.1 or WebCT). This message will direct students to the correct login screen.
· Load students into the Guide to UT Online Learning approximately two weeks before the start of the term.
· Load students into both WebCT and Blackboard sites on Friday, August 20.
· Provide Bb 9.1 workshops for students in FH 2010.

Please contact LV if you have any questions, and check back often for updates and suggestions. This site is searchable, so if you click on the appropriate “tag” or use the search window and type in “blackboard” or “9.1,” you’ll get a full list of all our postings on that topic.

“Can WebCT Backups be Uploaded to BB 9.1?”

A colleague writes:

I backed up my courses in the Fall 2009. If we were using Web CT then will there be any compatibility to upload them to Blackboard?

Though the basic tools are similar and your files will appear much as they did in WebCT when you move to BB9.1, the structure of BB9.1 is not identical to WebCT. So if you try to upload a backup from WebCT to BB9.1, you’ll be putting a square peg in a round hole.

So, if you have a WebCT backup file that you would like restored in BB9.1, here is what to do:

  1. Contact Learning Ventures’ instructional designers by sending an email to utlv@utoledo.edu. Let them know the course number, section, and semester you would like to restore. (If you already have a backup file, you can simply send it to them at that address or give them the link to any filesharing service you use).
  2. The Designer will then arrange to have a backup of the course files extracted from our servers. The Designer will send that file to you with instructions on how to upload the file to BB9.1. A video tutorial describing this process will soon be available online at http://www.utoledo.edu/dl/faculty/index.html.
  3. We are, of course, willing to help you with this task if necessary, and can use a variety of technologies to help you (“Teamviewer” is a particularly helpful tool that allows you to share your screen with a designer).
  4. Once the file is uploaded, you will need to scour your site for broken links and changed settings. We recommend logging in as a “student” (username.s) and trying out your links.

We stand ready to help you at any stage of this transition. Our staff of student workers, instructional developers, and instructional designers are all committed to student learning, and excellent online experiences can make a difference.

If you have all your files organized on your own computer or in storage, you might wish to simply re-build your course in the new system. Video tutorials on our web site, a lively online community, and our own designers can all facilitate the development of an engaging, interactive online experience in the new, Web 2.0-savvy Blackboard system.

Transition to Blackboard 9.1

This summer we begin UT’s transition to Blackboard 9.1 as our standard “learning management system” for online and web assisted courses. It will eventually replace WebCT. Our Academic Support team in collaboration with LV’s Instructional Designers have developed a strategy that will make the transition as seamless as it can be for both the faculty and students who use Blackboard. The first phase of the transition involves a group of “early adopters,” faculty members who decided to use Blackboard 9.1 this summer while it is still in development. The second phase will involve a larger group of faculty who would like to move fall courses. The third and final phase will involve all online and web-assisted courses at UT.

The first phase is underway and successful. The second phase begins now, and we need your input. If you would like your course to run in BB9.1 in the fall of 2010, please send an e-mail message to Lansing Stoll with a brief message saying: “YES, I would like to begin using BB9.1 in the fall.” All courses will automatically be hosted in WebCT unless you indicate otherwise.

Our target date for bringing the BB9.1 server online is Friday, July 16. Updates will be available via the LV blog.

Also, please indicate whether you are interested in attending workshops to learn more about BB9.1. The schedule for workshops is available on our site.

Thank you, and please feel free to contact us if you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions.


1. There are many similarities between BB9.1 and WebCT, so adoption may not be a significant change for many instructors. If you are comfortable with online instruction, computers, etc., we recommend early adoption.
2. Instruction will be available in BB9.1 beginning this summer. We are no longer offering group instruction in WebCT. To sign up for an instructional session, visit our website.
3. If you continue to use WebCT, instructional modules will remain available online. LV’s instructional designers will also be available for consultation and assistance with WebCT.