Course Design

Targeting OGSMs in the USF Strategic Plan

How does DAT’s focus on course design support the OGSMs in the USF Strategic Plan? Objective 2 of the strategic plan states the USF will Demonstrate continuous quality improvement through assessment of courses and academic programs. DAT addresses this objective in two ways. First, DAT allows you to request Quality Matters’ course review services, which enable you to receive feedback on the quality of your online and blended courses. Your use of this feedback coupled with our periodic reviews of the courses establishes a system of continuous quality improvement.

Second, DAT offers course design services where we work collaboratively with you to achieve the 42 Quality Matters’ Specific Review Standards. This 16-week collaboration allows you to receive feedback on different aspects of your course design without infringing on your academic freedom. Continuous quality improvement is demonstrated through the use of feedback over 16 weeks of course design. Let DAT help you address Objective 2 of the USF Strategic Plan.

Providing Evidenced-based Guidance for Continuous Improvement

What evidenced-based framework does the University of St. Francis use to assess and improve the quality of its online and blended courses? Since 2016, the University of St. Francis has been a subscriber to Quality Matters, an organization that publishes an online and blended course design framework that institutions use to design and improve their online and blended courses. Faculty at most subscribing institutions find the Quality Matters framework useful in guiding their thinking with regard to online and blended course design considerations that impact their students’ experience and the implementation of continuous improvement processes for course design. Achieve positive student experiences and the establishment of continuous improvement processes by collaborating with DAT to incorporate the Quality Matters framework into your online and blended course design practices.

Leveraging Technology for Program Assessment

How can learning management system technology be leveraged for program assessment? While DAT is not directly involved in any program assessment, it ensures the design of your course includes technological processes for you to assess student achievement of your program outcomes. These technological processes help you to generate raw student performance data, which may be used for reporting student progress on your program outcomes. Let DAT help you set up technological protocols to measure the performance of your students on program assessments.

Designing for the Student Experience

What do students experience when they access your online and blended courses? Do they have the information they need to be successful in your course? What information is needed to help students navigate the course? How might the setup of your online and blended courses place some of your students at an academic disadvantage? Do the requirements of your online and blended courses expose your students to fraudulent or malevolent third parties who are seeking to use student information for profit? What should be included in online and blended courses beyond the content that defines the scope and sequence of the courses? What experience do you want your students to share with friends, neighbors, colleagues, and family? These are just some of the questions that DAT attempts to help you address in the design of your online and blended courses. Using Quality Matters as our course design framework, we strive to help you identify and incorporate course design components that move beyond the scope and sequence of the content in your online and blended courses.  We recognize that these components may not be in the purview of most faculty; however, a host of challenges could be presented to your students if important course design components are ignored.  Let DAT help you improve the student experience through its guidance on evidence-based standards for online and blended course design.

Tools for Course Design

Below are tools that are intended to aid you with course design.

  • Quality Matters Checklist
  • Computer Skills and Digital Information Literacy Skills Checklist

More Information

For more information on course design and Quality Matters’ reviews, contact