Dissertation Defense Announcement

The College of Education announces the Final Dissertation of

Rhonda Gregory

for the Degree of Doctor of Education

April 24, 2018 at 3:45 PM, Online

Advisor: Amanda Rockinson-Szapkiw

Influence of Quality Matters Professional Development on Faculty Members Perceptions of Design Standards & their Course Development abilities

ABSTRACT: Distance education quality assurance is a concern throughout the literature. Standards such as the Quality Matters (QM) Higher Education Rubric, 5th edition, are meant to support course design quality assurance. Professional development is associated with quality assurance initiatives, including the goal to transform faculty's instructional practices. Some community college faculty members who create online and hybrid courses participate in the Applying the Quality Matters Rubric (APPQMR) training to learn how to apply the QM rubric. While the literature provides many in-house training program evaluations, there is a research gap about community college faculty experiences in APPQMR and what influence it may have on their perceptions of QM and their course design skills. A description of how social influences and facilitating conditions may influence long-term QM adoption and use is also lacking. Higher education administrators need to better understand these factors because faculty buy-in and support of the quality assurance process is critical to the success of such initiatives. This study used an explanatory sequential mixed methodology to examine the influence of the APPQMR workshop. The results of a causal-comparative research design revealed no significant difference in faculty perceptions of the QM rubric between groups who had and had not completed the training. However, results of a basic qualitative design demonstrated the possible practical influence of training on faculty skills and perceptions. The QM rubric is rigorous; learning to apply it requires rigorous effort. Faculty need time and institutional support to experience the potential benefits of transformational learning in QM training. Keywords: adult learning theory, community of inquiry (CoI), distance education, faculty development, instructional design, online education, quality assurance, Quality Matters™, transformative learning theory.