Notes from “Flexible but not Flimsy: Addressing Standards Using a Personalized Faculty Pathway” #qmconf2015

different pathways to qualityNotes from “Flexible but not Flimsy: Addressing Standards Using a Personalized Faculty Pathway”, presented by Mary Bohman and Robin O’Callaghan, both from Winona State University, at the 2015 Quality Matters (QM) conference.

Winona State University has recently celebrated their 26th QM certified course. All reviews and professional development are voluntary for faculty. Their WeTeach professional development course provides flexible opportunities for cohorts of faculty to learn about online teaching (usually about 15 faculty each time).

WeTeach Foundation

The Foundation course is an overview of online teaching concepts. It is recommended but not required before moving into WeTeach Advanced.

Module 1: Charting Your Course
Module 2: QM Overview
Module 3: Connecting with Online Student Services
Module 4: Communicating and Collaborating with Your Students Olnine
Module 5: Learning Objectives and Course Design Modules
Module 6: Online Assessment and Feedback
Module 7: Instructional Materials

WeTeach Foundation uses virtual meetings in Adobe Connect with online content. It gives faculty experience using online tools and encourages them to discuss concepts outside of departmental boundaries. The goal is to have faculty begin designing an online course and directly apply what they are learning in the course.

One activity is for faculty to use the QM Research Library to choose a standard and find a research article
Also have faculty migrate one assignment from F2F to online and share on a discussion board.

They also put faculty in the “Hot Seat”. Each faculty member finds a tool they want to use, researches it, and posts about it to a discussion board.

WeTeach Advanced

The Advanced course guides faculty through building an online course.

Module 0: Pre-Course Information
Module 1: Learning Objectives
Module 2: Alignment
Module 3: Assessments
Module 4: Instructional Materials
Module 5: Peek Inside a QM Course

The format is weekly face-to-face meetings that progress into 1:1 custom meeting for online course design. By the end of WeTeach Advanced, they have developed their first module. It helps faculty learn how to get started with teaching online and gives them a foundation in how to design their course.

Different Pathways to Quality

Faculty get involved with WeTeach at various levels (Foundation or Advanced), through bi-weekly or weekly meetings, or through 1:1 interaction with faculty. Faculty choose whether or not they want to pursue a QM recognition for their course.


  • Flexibility for Instructors – can start with either Foundation or Advanced
  • Faculty workload
  • Collaboration
  • “Self-Select” the instructional materials
  • Evidence of completion


  • More time to manage for facilitators
  • Alignment of all program
  • “Self-Select” could miss key components
  • Not streamlined for those who need structure

Tools to Build WeTeach Program

  • D2L: this creates familiarity with the LMS used at Winona
  • Doodle: they use Doodle to have faculty self-select times when they are free for live meetings or 1:1 meetings
  • Adobe Connect: to get faculty familiar with web conferencing and to facilitate synchronous communication
  • Trello: A product management/productivity tool they use to give faculty structure and space for designing their course before moving it into the LMS

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