How to Find Online Programs as Invested in Your Success as You Are
Remember what it was like before smartphones and Google Maps? How hard it was to get to someplace in a new city or country? Many have grown up with these tools, and won’t remember. Some may be wondering how they ever got anywhere. No step-by-step directions in a soothing, yet insistent tone. No magic floating arrow showing your location at a given moment. Just you and (if you were lucky!) a piece of paper. Left on your own...without any device, much less signs, that you were headed the right way.
That's what taking some online courses can be like. Where’s the reading list? Where are the assignments? Do I have the right computer and internet? Am I taking this with other students at the same time, or do I work at my own pace? How do I contact the professor? How am I graded? How do I turn in assignments?
There’s a lot more to taking an online course than great content, a great professor or a good price.
We call it quality. And a quality course, designed with the student perspective in mind, lets you concentrate on the content of the class rather than how to “get around” the class.
The Sign of Quality
But how do you know a course is designed with you in mind? The QM Certification Mark. We don’t create the course, but we create Standards for what a quality course should be.
When you see the QM Certification Mark next to a course in a printed or digital catalog, you can be sure that it was evaluated by a team of experts and met our rigorous Standards of quality — the QM Standards for Course Design. It’s not easy to meet these Standards...it requires significant investments in both time and money. But more so, meeting our rigorous Standards requires that an organization is serious — from top to bottom — about delivering on their promise to you.
You can know they take quality as seriously as we do. And that they take your success as seriously as you do.
The Online Student Bill of Rights
We’re so serious about this, we created the QM Online Student Bill of Rights. In it, we lay out our expectations of what a quality course or program should provide to you, the student. A way for you to see a clear pathway to being successful in the course — from the beginning to the end. We didn’t just come up with this on our own. This Bill of Rights was created from feedback about course features that students said mattered most to them. Take a look and see if you agree.
Online Learning That’s Right For You
What else do you need to know to find exactly the right online program? Admittedly, it can be tough! In a brick and mortar school, you can go on campus tours and talk to counselors. There are so many questions — about money, time commitment, support, and expectations. Institutions with online courses and programs will have a way to answer your questions, but which are the most important to ask? Quality Matters collaborated with other organizations invested in improving online learning quality on a list of questions that can help you work through it.
How Do You Find Quality?
It probably seems obvious that standards and certification for quality in online programs is good thing, but now what? Well, if you’re in the investigative stages you can visit our resource page that lists QM-Certified online courses where you can search for QM-Certified courses and see QM members with QM-Certified courses. Since online learning doesn’t require physical proximity, they should all be in play for you. If you’ve already been admitted to an institution, check and see if they’re a QM member with QM-Certified courses. If not, ask them if they’re on the road to having courses QM-Certified. You have the power!
After all, it’s your money, your time...and your future journey on the line!