Delivering the 4th Edition of the QM K-12 Secondary and K-12 Publisher Rubrics

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It started with a call        

It’s crazy to think that it was about a year ago this time that we were preparing to send out the call for nominations for dynamic individuals interested in serving on the committee that would mold the next editions of the K-12 Secondary and K-12 Publisher Rubrics. The response was overwhelming, and with only twelve slots, we had to turn away many worthy educators. In the end, we were confident that we had chosen the right mix of teachers and instructional designers to help us in this endeavor. The stakes were high, as hundreds of schools and districts who use the QM Rubrics as a guide to improving and developing their online and blended courses were counting on us to make updates that not only reflected the latest in online and blended research, but also current best practice. This year's K-12 Rubric Revision Committee was composed of educators from all over the globe.  

K-12 Rubric Revision Committee Members
  • Peter Arashiro, Michigan Virtual University
  • Megan Ash, Educational Service Center of Central Ohio
  • Christy Cleugh, Oaks Christian Online School
  • Robert Cole, Howard County Public Schools
  • Melissa Davis, North Carolina Virtual Public School
  • Jennifer Kolar-Burden, Illinois Virtual School
  • Krissy Machamer, Licking Heights Local Schools
  • Deb Munis, Ohio Department of Education, Office of Curriculum and Assessment
  • Karen N. Nichols, Xavier University of Louisiana
  • Jon Oestreich, Wisconsin Virtual School, a partner of Wisconsin Digital Learning Collaborative
  • Denise Perrault, International Baccalaureate
  • Suzanne M. Scheffler
Feedback from the Community and Lit Review

Our journey continued with a survey provided to our community asking for feedback on any of the QM K-12 General and Specific Review Standards, their accompanying Annotations and the Course Review process. A comprehensive literature review was compiled by Kay Shattuck, QM’s Director of Research. Committee members were asked to select the General Standard areas in which they felt they could make the most meaningful impact based on their background and experience with the Rubric itself. Members were divided into 8 teams, representing 8 of the  General Standard areas, with three people on each team, one of whom served as the team chair. Along with the feedback provided by our community, and the literature review, these teams were provided with data showing how each Specific Review Standard fared in official Quality Matters Reviews. Specifically, the data focused on the inter-rater agreement among each Specific Review Standard on Official Course Reviews. This helped the teams to see where language or examples within the Annotations and/or Specific Review Standards needed to be tightened up.

The General Standards Teams get to work

Armed with this information, the General Standard (GS) teams set to work carefully scrutinizing each Specific Review Standard (SRS) and its accompanying Annotation. Their approach, while being targeted to each General Standard area, was holistic, taking into account the Rubric as a whole.

Members were provided with copies of the Higher Education Rubric, and a document showing recent revisions made to that Rubric, to determine if any of those revisions would serve the QM K-12 community, as well. Additionally, they were asked to align the K-12 Publisher and Secondary Rubrics, as much as possible and where applicable, as QM Certified K-12 Course Reviewers and members across our community often work closely with both versions.

The GS review teams spent many hours in collegial conversation and deliberation. Once the GS review teams were in agreement about their suggested revisions, including any changes to point values, the full committee was called together and the GS review teams presented their suggested revisions, along with a rationale for each. The committee as a whole was provided time for discussion, and time to suggest  additional revisions or ideas, both during subsequent virtual meetings and a project management site. This process occurred in several rounds and sometimes through vote, but in the end, the committee ultimately came to what they felt was the best version of both the K-12 Secondary and K-12 Publisher Rubrics.

Time to edit the Rubrics

Once the Rubric Revision Committee had completed their work, QM got to work internally to edit, and put together what will now be known as fourth edition of The Quality Matters K-12 Secondary Rubric Workbook, as well as the fourth edition of The Quality Matters K-12 Publisher Rubric Workbook. This is the first time QM will be publishing a full workbook containing the K-12 Publisher Rubric, and we are really excited for this accomplishment.

QM subscribing members will be able to view the new Rubrics and changes by enrolling in the free (until December 31, 2016) Rubric updates. These quick, self-paced workshops will allow provide you with detailed information regarding the changes made to each Rubric.  Just pick the one you use most, or both! It is important to note here that Certified K-12 Course Reviewers, both K-12 Secondary and K-12 Publisher, need to take these Rubric Update Courses in order to keep their Certification with QM and continue to serve on official Course Review Teams. We need our reviewers to be as knowledgeable as possible and ready to apply these new Rubric Standards and Annotations on these reviews.

Hello to new demo courses!

While our Rubrics are being revised and ready for print, QM’s Professional Development team has been hard at work making sure that updates are made to each and every QM Professional Development course, workshop, and web-conferencing session. Many members of our community who have been through QM PD, are familiar with Hilliard City Public Schools’ English 10a course, built by Ms. Jennifer Sayre.  Earlier this summer we said goodbye to that course, because part of refreshing our courses includes the use new demo courses. We want to take a moment to thank Hilliard City and Jennifer Sayre for providing us with the perfect course for our needs at the time. English 10a has helped to provide hundreds of educators the practice they need to work toward the continual improvement of their online courses, and therefore a better learning experience for their students. We follow this goodbye with a hello, as we welcome the new demo courses, which have been through official QM Course Reviews using the fourth edition of the K-12 Secondary Rubric. We are confident that these courses will help the next wave of teachers, instructional designers, and administrators learn to apply the QM Rubric Standards and ultimately choose join our group of Certified K-12 Course Reviewers. A special thank you goes out to Idaho Digital Learning Academy and IDEAL New Mexico for allowing QM to incorporate these courses into our PD; ultimately helping us all to improve online and blended learning one course at a time.

We are excited to unveil the new editions of the K-12 Secondary and K-12 Publisher Rubrics, as we are confident they will meet the needs of our collective and evolving work.

Next Steps for you!
View the Rubric.

After September 1, Subscribers can access the Rubrics using the Self-Review tool available when logged in to MyQM. To begin a Self-Review:

  1. Log in to MyQM
  2. Select the K-12 or Publisher tabs
  3. Select Start a Self-Review
Take the (free) Rubric Updates

Prepare for the Rubrics’ release with the free, online, self-paced Rubric Update, available exclusively to subscribers.

QM subscribing members will be able to view the new Rubrics and changes by enrolling in the free (until December 31, 2016) Rubric updates. These quick, self-paced workshops will allow provide you with detailed information regarding the changes made to each Rubric.  Just pick the one you use most, or both! It is important to note here that Certified K-12 Course Reviewers, both K-12 Secondary and K-12 Publisher, need to take these Rubric Update Courses in order to keep their Certification with QM and continue to serve on official Course Review Teams. We need our reviewers to be as knowledgeable as possible and ready to apply these new Rubric Standards and Annotations on these reviews.

Registration is required for the Rubric Update. You can register for the Rubric Update using your MyQM login.

  1. Log in to MyQM
  2. Select the K-12 or Publisher tab
  3. Select the Workshop - Register menu
  4. Select Register for Rubric Update

Check out Updated Professional Development Opportunities

QM will update its professional development offerings after September 1 to reflect the updated Rubrics. View the latest offerings.

By Christine Voelker, K-12 Program Director for Quality Matters.

Christine Voelker is a 20-year education veteran who spent many years teaching research skills and integrating instructional technology before entering the world of online learning.  She has an advanced certificate in Administration and Supervison and a Master's in Library and Information Science.  Connect with Christine on Twitter: @voelkerc.

Interested in learning more? Check out Quality Matters' Rubric Standards, professional development and certification program. What more tips? Sign up for our monthly newsletter or contact us to learn more about Quality Matters.