Growing Professionally By Reviewing K-12 Courses

"invest in yourself written on notepad"
“When professionals at conferences realize that I am a QM-Certified Reviewer and a Master Reviewer, it carries a lot of weight because they know the quality of professional development that QM provides.”Matthew Tyler, Instructional Designer and Technologist in the Center for Teaching Excellence to Advance Learning at Coastal Carolina University

Just like quality matters so too does professional development. Professional development provides those in the field of education with opportunities to:

  • Stay abreast of the latest developments in the field
  • Network with like-minded professionals
  • Optimize CVs or resumes
  • Deepen subject knowledge
  • Pass knowledge along to others
  • Impact student achievement

Matthew Tyler, an Instructional Designer and Technologist in the Center for Teaching Excellence to Advance Learning at Coastal Carolina University, discovered that serving as a QM-Certified K-12 Master Reviewer checks all these boxes and more. 

Matthew was first introduced to Quality Matters by a fellow QM Reviewer and former QM Facilitator Jean K. Bennett. With his interest piqued, he dipped his toes into the QM waters with the Applying the Quality Matters Rubric workshop and the Higher Ed Peer Reviewer Course. Upon completion, he decided to use his instructional design experience to assist with K-12 and Continuing and Professional Education course reviews. To qualify, Matthew took both the K-12 Accelerated Reviewer Course for Higher Ed and the K-12 Accelerated Continuing & Professional Ed Reviewer Course

The courses were an investment that paid dividends. “I really enjoyed the experience. I gained a lot of knowledge as well as an appreciation of the course review process and its integrity,” Matthew explained. “As a young professional who consulted with faculty, one of the things that had an immediate impact on my work was learning how to provide quality feedback that was constructive, specific, measurable, sensitive, and balanced. When working with faculty, this is paramount as it is important to the dynamics and trust in the relationship between faculty and consultant.”

Encouraged by members of the QM Team, Matthew decided to take his professional development to the next level and became a QM-Certified K-12 Master Reviewer, providing him with the additional tools he needed to manage the entire review process and coach peers to ensure helpful recommendations are provided for course improvements.

As a higher education professional, Matthew finds the K-12 course review process beneficial. “One of the biggest benefits is getting to see the online learning environments that our potential students are accustomed to engaging in,” Matthew shared. “This helps me make informed decisions when speaking with faculty members regarding the potential prior experiences of their online learners.” But the benefits don’t end there. As Matthew detailed, the reviewer role helps fulfill his professional development needs, “Not a review goes by where I have not learned something valuable. For example, I am constantly learning ways that I can better lead a review team and provide more balanced, specific, and measurable feedback to a course representative.”

The opportunity for professional networking is also advantageous. As Matthew highlighted, throughout the review process he is “building professional relationships with fellow QM reviewers, and seeing innovative ways to deliver instruction.”

Coastal Carolina University recognizes the professional development benefits of the reviewer role and wholly supports Matthew’s efforts. “My institution and department are very supportive,” said Matthew. “Since the experience is a professional development opportunity and considered service to the profession and community, they pay for my membership and associated courses. I am forever grateful for them allowing me to get involved in QM.” 

The University’s investment is paying off as Matthew’s involvement with Quality Matters enhances his daily work. “My youthful appearance led some faculty members to initially see me as being very young and perhaps not having enough experience or knowledge in my field to be able to help them with their online course design,” Matthew explained. “However, once I started speaking with them about my experience with QM and began consulting with them, we developed very strong relationships and they came to me very frequently. They even recommended me to their peers.” Matthew’s QM experience also garners respect outside of his institution. As Matthew recounted, “When professionals at conferences realize that I am a QM-Certified Reviewer and a Master Reviewer, it carries a lot of weight because they know the quality of professional development that QM provides. As a young professional, this is very valuable to me.”

Matthew encourages other education professionals to pursue a similar path. “For the purposes of personal professional development and career advancement, I recommend that others become a reviewer as soon as they can,” said Matthew. “QM is a nationally recognized organization and professionals in the field of online learning and instructional design have a great deal of respect for QM reviewers.” Additionally, Matthew points out that having QM experience on your CV or resume can help when applying for jobs. “It shows a dedication to professional development and service to the profession,” explained Matthew. In fact, Matthew said that it’s not uncommon for recruiters to reach out and specifically cite his QM experience as their reason for connecting.  

In addition to courses for reviewer roles, QM offers a host of professional development opportunities that can support your professional growth. Explore them all to find the one that is right for you.

Date Published