INTRODUCTION: Instructors of online courses need numerous support mechanisms to help them succeed in the online environment. One such support mechanism is peer-to-peer review of design elements in online courses for the purpose of continuous improvement of course delivery. Quality Matters (QM), a program of MOL, has addressed this need and continues to set standards in this area. However, other support mechanisms may assist the online instructor in developing courses and managing their online courses. This proposal for a Mentoring Quality (MQ) “Pilot” project addresses this need. Whereas the main thrust of Quality Matters is superior online course design, the main focus of MQ would be on best practices in the delivery of online courses. Models of mentoring currently in practice would inform the MQ process.
GOAL: To improve the quality of teaching and learning in online and hybrid courses.
Mentoring Quality is in its second and final pilot semester. Three teams of peers have been paired up in an online faculty Mentor/Mentee arrangement for spring 10. As of this writing we have:
1. Completed the MQ Plan
2. Conducted committee operations in the form of a) developing a rubric (set of topics) and b) have developed a process for operations
3. Completed one semester of peer mentoring (fall 09) where four pairs of online mentors and online mentees were engaged
4. Feedback of the experience has been recorded and will be reported in early summer (along with that of the spring semester)
5. A final report will be produced in early summer 2010