August 16, 2016 - Annapolis, MD - Quality Matters (QM), an organization known for its quality assurance work in online education, will serve as the Quality Assurance Entity (QAE) for a partnership between Thomas Edison State University (TESU) and Study.com selected by the Department of Education for the experimental sites initiative Educational Quality through Innovative Partnerships (EQUIP).
QM, as the QAE, will review the program and provide oversight to address a set of questions put forward by the Department of Education. QAEs are charged with determining if the claims made for learning are relevant and meaningful for students; if the assessments of student work are valid; if the student outcomes are being achieved; if the program is being managed in a way that protects student interests; and if there is a viable and robust continuous improvement process in place. QM has a decade-long history of using a research-centered approach -- guided by the principles of continuous improvement, collaboration and collegiality -- in its quality assurance and peer review process. For the TESU and Study.com program, QM will adapt its Online Learner Success program certification process and supplement those criteria with other key quality measures of the student experience in the courses that are part of this program.
As appropriate to the objectives of TESU's initiative with Study.com, QM's Program Review features professionally developed and certified peer review teams. QM has reviewed and certified more than 6,000 higher education courses.
Deb Adair, QM Executive Director, explained, “QM is proud to be part of the EQUIP initiative as a QAE. We look forward to the opportunity to learn more about how well this innovative program developed by TESU and Study.com supports the goal of providing an effective alternative pathway for students, particularly for students from low-income backgrounds. Our trained and certified review teams, consisting of experienced online educators and subject matter experts, will apply QM’s rigorous standards and collaborative approach to quality assurance. Our goals are to provide an initial benchmark for program quality, to provide periodic oversight, and to work with the partners in continually improving the program and its outcomes. We believe this is important work.”
“Study.com was looking for the gold standard in Quality Assurance when we requested QM as the QAE on this project,” said Adrian Ridner, CEO and Co-Founder of Study.com. “QM’s background and experience made the organization the best choice for this project and we are excited and pleased to work with QM.”
QM anticipates the benchmark stage of the QAE process on this project to be completed before January 2017.