Allen honored for online teaching

Anoka Technical College faculty member Deborah Allen has been recognized for championing online teaching and learning with a 2012 Making a Difference for Students Award by Quality Matters (QM), an organization which supports the quality assurance efforts of more than 650 academic institutions and K-12 systems nationwide.

Anoka Technical College faculty member Deborah Allen (left) received a 2012 Making a Difference for Students Award from Brenda Boyd, director of professional development and consulting at Quality Matters (QM), an organization that supports online learning quality assurance efforts of more than 650 academic institutions and K-12 systems nationwide.

Anoka Technical College faculty member Deborah Allen (left) received a 2012 Making a Difference for Students Award from Brenda Boyd, director of professional development and consulting at Quality Matters (QM), an organization that supports online learning quality assurance efforts of more than 650 academic institutions and K-12 systems nationwide.

“As Anoka Technical College prepares for the Higher Learning Commission’s accreditation visit in 2013, Quality Matters will be an integral part of demonstrating the quality of online courses our institution offers to its students,” said Allen.

“As for this wonderful recognition I received, I am very proud of any role I can play in promoting the highest standards in online learning at our college.”

Allen received the award at the fourth annual QM Conference in Tuscan, Ariz., the first weekend of October for her efforts to initiate, develop and maintain a system for measuring the quality of online instruction at Anoka Tech.

Since taking her first QM course in 2010, Allen has become a QM master reviewer and the Anoka Technical College’s institutional representative for QM.

She also initiated and was named chairperson of a collegewide committee charged with reviewing the college’s online offerings.

“The recipients of the awards demonstrate different but impactful approaches to improve the learning outcomes for their students through the implementation of QM standards, practices and processes,” said Brenda Boyd, chairperson of the awards committee and director of professional development and consulting.

“Their transformative efforts result in making the student experience more consistent and coherent. They demonstrate a systematic commitment to assuring the quality of their online courses— resulting in significant impact on student learning,”

In June, a composition course designed by Anoka Tech faculty member Dr. Diana Gander Ostrander was the first to be reviewed and approved by a trained Quality Matters Peer Review team comprising three faculty members from different colleges across the U.S.

Ostrander’s course was taken through the QM rubric to ensure that it covered all the components that QM identifies as essential for a quality online course.

Courses, such as Ostrander’s, that successfully meet QM standards are eligible to carry the certification mark, a protected trademark.

Since Allen’s initiation of the QM program at Anoka Tech, more college faculty are enrolling in QM courses and using the materials to strengthen their online curriculum.

Allen has been also been asked by the Minnesota system institutional representatives for Quality Matters (Elizabeth McMahon, Northland Community and Technical College, and Linda Jacoby, Minnesota State University, Mankato) to participate as a master reviewer in some of the upcoming course reviews managed by the Minnesota Online Quality Initiative (MOQI).

To learn more about QM in Minnesota, visit qmprogram.org/about.

To learn more a Anoka Technical College, visit AnokaTech.edu.

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